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Business worries turn entrepreneurs into insomniacs

A survey by Barclays has shown that heads of one in 10 SME has their sleep interrupted on a nightly basis by business worries.

And even those that do not lose sleep risk business concerns eating into their social time, with 36% of entrepreneurs working into the evening at least three to four times per week.

Top sleep interrupters were cash flow (34%) and employee issues (31%), with work life balance, keeping up with new regulations and business financing also featuring high on the list.

However, it is not all bad news – the research shows that experience pays, with only 26% of business leaders in operation since the 1980s having cash flow concerns, compared with over 55% of their start-up peers.

Louise Fowler, Barclays marketing director small business, says: “With the economy expected to slow this year, small business owners will have to work harder to get business in. Businesses should consider using supporting software to help increase the numbers of hours sleep they get each night.”

Another option is to change location – the survey also showed that business owners in the North West worry twice as much about cash flow as their neighbours in Yorkshire, and those in the West Midlands worry about twice as much the national average. It is not necessarily just what you do, but where you do it too that counts, it would seem.

The poll surveyed 1,000 business owners with a turnover of up to £1m in December 2004.

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