Business retention is the single biggest daily concern for small business owners, according to Hitachi Capital.

More than a third (35%) of small business owners surveyed reported that keep the business they already have is their biggest worry, rising from 24% last year.

A third also said that business retention actually keeps them awake at night.

The other biggest concerns were managing cash flow (30%), red tape (27%), compliance and regulation (25%) and economic volatility (23%).

The research also appears to suggest that small business owners are becoming more concerned about such issues. While their concerns over the economy rose just three percentage point, cash flow increased by eight, compliance and regulation by nine and red tape by 12. None of the issues identified by the research saw the number of business owners concerned about them fall.

Gavin Wraith-Carter General Manager at Hitachi Capital Business Finance said: “Running a business, regardless of size or sector is a constant challenge and business retention is certainly going to be at the front of peoples’ minds.

"There are of course, a plethora of business related issues that SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) have to juggle on a daily basis, including managing cash flow and having a some foresight on the issues such as the economy, both in the UK and abroad."