Despite being widely tipped as particularly problematic areas for the UK's smaller businesses, new research suggests that auto-enrolment and the National Living Wage are far from business owners' biggest concerns.
More than a third (34%) of small business owners surveyed identified sales at their biggest concern for the year ahead, making it a far bigger worry than any other area, according to the survey by NOW: Pensions.
Access to finance was the next biggest worry, with just 12% highlighting it. Interestingly, just 7% said the outcome of the EU referendum was their biggest concern.
The National Living Wage and auto-enrolment was chosen by just 2% and 3% respectively.
Top 10 concerns for the year ahead
- Sales (34%)
- Access to finance (12%)
- EU referendum (7%)
- Government spending cuts (7%)
- Keeping up with technology (6%)
- IT security (4%)
- Auto enrolment (3%)
- National Living Wage (2%)
- Attracting and retaining staff (2%)
- Lack of skilled workers (2%)
Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions, said: “With so many other things to think about it’s easy to see how auto enrolment can slip through the cracks. But, the penalties for non-compliance are steep, as much as £500 a day for firms employing 5-49 people, so small firms need to give it the attention it deserves.