Over half of small business owners admitted to having “sleepless nights” over cashflow concerns, according to a recent poll by Close Brothers Asset Finance.

Also, 59% of those surveyed said maintaining cashflow consistently is a “problem.”

Neil Davies, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Finance, said: “In the 10 years plus we’ve been conducting our research, cashflow has consistently rated as firms’ primary concern. This spans sectors, regions and size and is not a problem purely for smaller firms.”

“Given these results, it should come as no surprise that business owners are struggling with the issue, particularly in light of the fact that three out of every five SMEs polled have said maintaining cashflow is a problem,” he added.

Cashflow fluctuates seasonally for half of UK businesses with this being particularly acute in the West Midlands, where the figure rises to 65%.

“Many sectors are seasonal, from agriculture to holiday lets, which is why cashflow forecast is an essential took for businesses planning because it helps business owners to understand where cash is needed and where pinch points might happen,” Davies said.

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“It allows business owners to understand how issues will impact cashflow and have visibility of when payments are likely to be received or will be required to be made,” he added.

Figures obtained for the research are from a Kanter research survey conducted in January 2020 and comprises the opinion of over 900 SME owners the UK and Ireland and across various industries on a range of issues.

Close Brothers is a UK merchant bank that has been in business for 142 years and is listed on the FTSE 250. The lender’s leasing division, Close Brothers Asset Finance, was founded in 1987 and has offices in Scotland and Germany, as well as a well-established motor finance division.