Funding Circle has reported that 75 per cent of small businesses say they will always find a way to survive despite recent economic challenges.
The London-listed small business lender’s Resilience In Small Businesses report, in partnership with insights consultancy Savanta, looked at resilience in small businesses and the impact of staff wellbeing.
It found that more than three in five (63 per cent) UK small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) characterise this period as the most difficult in their history, with almost two thirds (64 per cent) saying it’s been the most stressful.
However, business owners continue to have a resilient mindset and three quarters (74 per cent) of small business leaders would still recommend running a small business to others.
Almost half (49 per cent) of the businesses surveyed said they achieved a better financial outcome in 2022 compared to 2021.
Yet, this figure is nearly four times higher among those rated as high resilience compared to low resilience (74 per cent vs 20 per cent).
Looking ahead, more than half (54 per cent) of businesses are positive about their growth prospects in 2023 – but this is six times higher for high resilience businesses (84 per cent vs 13 per cent).
Similarly looking at personal resilience alone, 62 per cent of high resilience businesses are more positive about the future compared with 44 per cent for low resilience.
The data also highlights a link between financial success and a focus on health and wellbeing.
An eighth (12 per cent) of highly resilient businesses are making ‘improving staff wellbeing’ their top priority over the next 12 months, and 35 per cent place it in their top three, in comparison to just 5 per cent and 22 per cent respectively among low resilience businesses.
Determination is a key trait of small business leaders as almost three quarters (74 per cent) said they tend to bounce back quickly after difficult times.
Resilient businesses were three times more likely to have grown in 2022 and are six times more likely to expect growth this year.
“From working with small businesses for more than decade, we have seen first-hand how resilient they are, and we are constantly inspired by their agility and determination through challenging times,” said Funding Circle UK managing director Alexander Allen.
“This research demonstrates how important building resilience and focusing on wellbeing is for SMEs to thrive, and we hope these insights encourage small business leaders to focus on their own and their staff’s wellbeing, enabling them to develop resilience in their business and go from strength to strength.”