Small business owners report the mental health impact of the pandemic

Small business owners report mental health issues - business mentor northampton news

An article in the Daily Mirror highlighted that research carried out for Santander has found that working through the COVID-19 pandemic has led to negative mental health effects for a third of small business owners – while two in five are questioning whether they want to continue running their business. Around 40% of women reported an impact on their mental health, compared to less than a third of men.

Small Business Owners Report iBOSS Comments:

My first thought on this was how difficult these times are for all small business owners. Then I wondered how accurate the stats to be for men? Research has shown that men are more likely to be less forthcoming when admitting, what by them, can be perceived as a weakness. Admitting to being under stress can often fall into that category.

The real truth of the matter is that there’s a large amount of business owner’s male and female under a lot of stress in the current climate. There are many excellent mental health professionals out there that give direct support to helping you personally through difficult times. There are also business professionals that can step in and support you and your business by offering a fresh approach and taking some of the strain. Most business consultants have at some time in their career been through difficult periods and have felt the stress of ‘how do I get out of a difficult situation’? Those that have come through the other side will tell you they sought help in one form or another.

The trouble is a lot of people going through this stressful time only see professional help as an additional cost. The real question is at what cost will this continued stress eventually bring to yourself, your family, and your business?

Remember it’s good to talk!

For more help and advice on how you can relieve stress from your business contact

Remember if you really are suffering from mental health issues and you need extra professional support I would urge you to call the samaritans or look online at the mind website for help.

Business Mentor News: Lockdown encourages new start-ups

business mentor northamptonIn the Daily Express, a report from Royal Mail suggests there was a 7% increase in new companies launched during the lockdown. The research indicates there were 315,000 company start-ups between March and July – fuelled by a boom in e-commerce businesses as consumers shifted to online shopping.

From April to June, Companies house recorded 176,000 start-ups, the highest number for any second quarter on record. The question is, how many of these companies will survive?
With the end of the furlough scheme getting closer and closer and more businesses making more and more people redundant, the new ‘entrepreneurs’ are likely to continue to rise for some time.

Get a business mentor to help your new startup

Even with the best professional advice, there is no guarantee that your ‘business dream’ will be a success. However, with good advice from experienced people such as a business mentor who have already walked that long road may help. A business mentor will give you an honest appraisal of your chance for success. They can advise whether you are seriously risking your life savings or redundancy package on an ill-fated idea. Conversely, however, your chosen professional advisor with a proper business plan in place may not only agree you have the potential beginnings of a successful business; but could show you where the cost
savings could be. That initial advice may stretch your initial investment at the critical start of your business.

Business News – UK start-ups adapting to survive the crisis

In an article in Business Money Richard Bearman, managing director of Start Up Loans, commented: “I am in awe at the determination and creativity of small business owners across the UK, who have not only survived COVID-19 thus far but have actively capitalised on the new trends it has created by always staying one step ahead of the curb.

iBOSS Comment:

What should also be highlighted is that many of those start-ups sought professional business advice before taking the plunge. Many quickly realise that if they are to have any chance of a sustainable venture, they need a Business Plan. A good business consultant can clearly help you here because they probably have not only been through this themselves but have already assisted many businesses to get off on a firm footing. Look at it this way, would you run headlong through a dark tunnel not knowing what is in front or even to the side of you. You would want to be sure what lies ahead and do I genuinely believe it is a risk worth taking to reach the other side.

Call us today for your business advice

Business News: SMEs detail pandemic impact

Covid News - SME IMPACT

The Daily Telegraph recently reported that a poll of UK alumni of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses programme shows that 99% believe they will survive the coronavirus crisis, assuming there are no other national lockdowns. The poll saw 64% say revenue had decreased, while 44% had reduced headcount and 75% had used the furlough scheme. Statistics show that 45% of firms have changed their business model due to the pandemic, with three quarters expecting this to be a permanent change.

iBOSS Business News Comment:

It seems to me that with large swathes of the country in practically Lockdown 2 these figures are only likely to increase even further. It seems clear to me that now more than ever, SME’s need to be seeking professional business advice from as many sources as possible. There is no silver bullet to the current situation, and this is still going to be a long-term problem for the vast majority of us. Even business consultants with a successful track record of helping businesses cannot wave a magic wand. Still, they may very well give you fresh ideas, an alternative business plan or business strategy as you advance. They may also help you look for ways to raise some additional business finance. An initial consultation is often free.

If you need business advice call us today

FREE BUSINESS ADVICE – ‘it’s good to talk.’

Small business success report shows ‘it’s good to talk’

iBOSS loves to give free business advice to all our clients. This is our advice today!

A report in Business and Money highlighted that Allica Bank had commissioned a new study, the SME Guide to Success, revealing that SMEs’ prospects of success depend to a large extent on engagement and interaction with external institutions and resources. Chris Weller, chief commercial officer at the business lender, remarked: “In the UK there is a wealth of external advice and support for small businesses and we urge every company out there to tap into the external resources around them.”

iBOSS free business advice Comment:

There is no doubt that business networking groups like The Business Community and Collaborate as an example in the East Midlands region, are a rich source of information. These Groups help to promote business whilst also giving tremendous support to each other. These groups often have professional business advisors who can also provide direct help to new business start-ups or established companies that in these difficult times may very well need a fresh approach or are even considering remodelling of their business. Although business owners may have excelled in their given industry, they still in these unprecedented times may need a business review on how to maintain or better still, increase business profit.

Contact us today if you would like to join the next meeting or get a FREE business advice consultation from us!

Older freelancers hit hardest by coronavirus

iBOSS Covid news Business support and mentoring

Business support is high in demand right now. An article in The Times has highlighted that those self-employed and over 65’s have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – with those in both camps faring even worse.

A recent survey commissioned by IPSE found that while the average income of freelancers fell 25% during lockdown, some saw income fall as much as 80% leading to many small firms collapsing. The sad fact is that a number of these businesses may have possibly been able to continue to trade if they had access to the right business advice. So often businesses either do not think to seek support or know where to turn to get help in difficult times likes this or worse still they leave it too late to get the potential help they need.

If you are one of those businesses facing that potential situation then iBOSS is happy to see if we can help. It’s good to talk!

Nearly a fifth of small businesses would not survive the second lockdown

Articles in the Mail, Express and the Times have all highlighted that a survey by insurance group Simply Business revealed that 17% of small businesses believe they would not survive a new lockdown. Not only that a total of 62% said they were less confident about their company’s long-term outlook. A meagre 5% of respondents think they would cope better.
If a company genuinely believes their business is really struggling, then one suspects that they must be already making plans to shelter their business through the storm. If not it maybe already too late.
In the particular case of SME’s battening down the hatches can often mean not spending any money on good advice or marketing. In the first instance the cost of good advice may very well end up saving you thousands or even your company and in the second if you don’t continue to market your business prudently your customers may very well already think you no longer are around!

Cyber Security and Working from Home

Cyber security for my home network

Dolly Parton sang about “Working 9-5” and for many office workers, this described their work week perfectly. Then COVID happened and working hours have become a lot more blurred.
Aside from the human implications of life and work becoming blurred, the Cyber Security implications can be dire. We have not only moved away from our office desks but also our office networks. Networks that are secured with firewalls, intrusions prevention systems and web filters.

We, of course, have VPN (Virtual Private Network) systems but many of them do not provide the same level of protection as our office networks.
This has pushed many companies to a more cloud based model and are utilising products such as Azure and AWS. This is definitely the way to go but does come with its own set of security challenges.

Here at iBoss, our consultants not only understand on premise considerations, but also which cloud implementation could be best for you, be that SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) or something in between. Not only that, we can help you make sure that you are safe.

Call us today for more information about how to secure your home in the virtual sense 🙂

New SME grant scheme launches this month

This week I sat in on a network meeting where Ruth Cozens from SEMLEP – South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership gave us an excellent update regarding a new grant-funding scheme. It launches this month to help SMEs recover from the impact of COVID-19. The £20m fund, will distribute grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 and will be administered by growth hubs led by Local Enterprise Partnerships. Understandably there will be huge interest and demand from SME’s. £20m does not go a long way these days!
At iBOSS we help SME’s the best way to start a business, turnaround a business or grow your business during difficult times.