One in five SME bosses took the decision to invest, on average, £17,030 of their own savings, while one in three slashed their own salary to increase cash flow, says Hiscox.
“SME bosses have been the unsung heroes of the recession,” says Alan Thomas, small business expert at the specialist insurer. “They’ve made enormous sacrifices and taken significant personal and financial risks to pull their businesses through the last two years.”
Although at the start of the recession, 76 per cent of entrepreneurs believed they would survive unscathed, the reality was much harsher, with two in five suffering from stress and a quarter being unable to sleep due to business worries.
It wasn’t all bad news, though. Half of the entrepreneurs surveyed by Hiscox said they’d felt they’d made all the right moves to survive the recession, and wouldn’t do anything differently if faced with the same situation again.
Of course, self-belief is an inherent trait in most entrepreneurs, so it doesn’t come as a big shock that most feel positive about the rest of 2010, with a quarter even planning on expanding their businesses.
“Their positive outlook for the year ahead is testament to the resilience of UK entrepreneurs, who are doing their bit to help lead the UK’s recovery,” Thomas adds.
So how did they do it? Here are the top strategies entrepreneurs adopted to get through the turmoil:
- Focused on securing relationships with existing clients (36 per cent);
- Reduced personal salary (34 per cent);
- Worked additional hours (33 per cent);
- Focused on securing new business deals (31 per cent);
- Invested personal savings (20 per cent);
- Invested in adapting programmes and services to meet client needs (12 per cent); and
- Recruited additional specialist staff to help attract new or retain existing clients (ten per cent).
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