Economy

63% of SME owners looking for business partners, study shows

39% of SME owners reported that different perspectives are the top benefit, while 30% said that their business partner is ‘a friend in life’ as much as in business

A new study from global technology platform, Intuit QuickBooks, has found that almost two thirds (63%) of SME owners are looking for a business partner, while just 8% already have one, which suggests that a surge in business partnerships is on the horizon.

This comes as small business owners and entrepreneurs are coming under increasing financial pressure from soaring inflation, supply chain issues and staff shortages. Over half (55%) of SME owners who already have a business partner reported that a key benefit of having one is “better cash flow”, which helps them combat the cost-of-living crisis head on.

It is also reported that having a business partner is also advantageous in other areas also; 39% of SME owners reported that different perspectives are the top benefit, while 30% said that their business partner is “a friend in life” as much as in business. 

The study also found that three in ten SME owners who already have a partner say they have achieved more than they would have done alone, thanks to their business partner (30%), and that their business would not be as successful without their partner on board (30%). In addition, a quarter of SME owners (24%) responded that they’d feel more confident growing their business with one. 

However, 23% of small business owners have reported struggling to find the right person for the job. A majority of small business owners (63%) have experienced issues with a current or previous business partner, with the most common challenges being inflexibility (33%), misalignment of goals (32%), and poor communication (30%). 

Almost three-quarters (73%) also say that they’ve been put off looking for a partner, having experienced issues before.

Faith Wheller, marketing director of Intuit QuickBooks, said: “The right business partner is likely to provide financial and emotional support, differing perspectives and life-long companionship, all of which contribute to business success. Running a small business can be lonely, but this doesn’t need to be the case. 

“There are more options for the perfect business partner than just a co-owner, these might include digital tools, or talking to experts through or always-on customer service teams via webchat. Accountants and software providers can offer valuable human advice and emotional support.”

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