Less Than A Quarter Of SMEs Seek Professional Advice

SME Owners More Likely To Ask Family For Help Due To Issues Accessing Professional Guidance

22.04.2015

Less than a quarter of SMEs consult financial or legal advisers, with far more relying on the advice of family or friends, new research has found.

When asked for the biggest hurdles in setting up a business, 31% cited financial administration and 30% said understanding their legal obligations as an employer or business owner caused them the most problems.

However, a study by insurance firm Aviva found that only 13% of SMEs consult financial advisers and only 9% use legal advisers, whereas 38% readily turn to family and friends for advice.

Even after establishing their business, over a third of owners (36%) say that financial help and legal obligations are still their biggest issues. But while many SMEs are in need of assistance in these areas, very few are turning to professionals, suggesting there are still barriers to accessing these resources for smaller firms.

Angus Eaton, managing director of commercial lines at Aviva, said: "It's only natural to want to consult with your family and friends but advice from professional experts can save time and money, helping small business owners with practical solutions, learnt from similar experiences in other businesses.

"Whether it’s getting hands-on help with bookkeeping, or getting to grips with the legal obligations associated with being an employer, there is a wealth of advice and material designed to support SMEs along every step of the way."

Expert Opinion
Setting up and running a small business is a huge step and involves ensuring compliance with a number of financial and legal requirements. As such, it is worrying to see that many SMEs seemingly feel that they are not able to access professional advice and support to ensure they are meeting all of their key responsibilities.

"The consequences of failing to get such advice can be massive, causing reputational and ultimately financial damage to such businesses as they are only beginning to find their feet.

"Tailored legal advice can ensure that small businesses are fully equipped to tackle potential obstacles and also set them up for an exciting future."
Steven Beahan, Partner