It might just be a little late to wish you a happy new year, but we’re in no doubt at all that a good night’s sleep would have featured on your list of new year’s resolutions. Because for many small business owners, the festive season is a time of long days and nights.

More than half of SME owners surveyed by a major bank last year said they would be forgoing sleep over the festive

season, arguably the most important time of the year where sales are typically at their peak.

When the once-a-year Christmas and New Year revelries are often a make-or-break time for many SMEs, sacrificing sleep over personal wellbeing is what most proprietors, understandably, choose to do.

Think it is rest and relax time when the festivities are over? Not a chance. More than 60% of the SME owners surveyed didn’t see themselves taking the time out to relax and recharge. Four out of 10 expected to be chasing late payments, spending as much as eight hours a week doing just that.

And that’s just one of the many tasks a small business owner must personally handle, given the limited resources the business has at its disposal.

Such revelations are sobering, no matter which way you look at them. For many SMEs the grind rarely stops.

That should hardly come as a surprise. There is no end to the list of issues that keeps a proprietor awake at night. Cashflow, bad debts and staffing challenges are the biggest causes.

But new worries, which used to only vex C-suite bosses, are starting to weigh on the minds of SME operators – a reflection of the digitalization of commerce in today’s economy.

Cyber security and data privacy, cost competitiveness, customer-centricity, big data, climate change and public trust are some of the top concerns this year for corporate leaders, according to a KPMG survey.

Amanda Hicks, the company’s Acuity Partner, lists a string of problems that CEOs mention which are eerily similar to the people running much smaller companies. They include digital transformation, innovation, and changing their business models to become more nimble and responsive as vital to their future.

So what are some of the options out there for sleep-deprived SME owners? Having all aspects of your operations adequately covered when unforseen incidents break out is one of them.

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