Start-up slump: Economic fears and legislation ‘biggest barriers to business owners today’

Aug 27, 2019 | Ads

With 40% fewer businesses opening now than five years ago, a new study by Safestore uncovers the biggest issues facing business growth by industry, the best countries in the UK for start-ups, and the top priorities for CEOs looking to grow their business.


  • Manufacturing Suffers The Greatest Financial Struggles -This industry ranked the highest for worries with cash flow (16%) and access to finance (10%), of all industries studied.
  • Economic Climate Causes Struggles For Wholesale and Retail Businesses – 19% of CEOs in this industry view the economic climate as the greatest challenge to success.
  • Access To Finance Listed As A Low Concern For Business Owners – Only 4%-10% of business owners believed this was a key issue to their company.
  • Over half of business owners prioritise growth as part of their business strategy with only 12% prioritising cost management
  • ‘Wrong business model’ voted top reason for failure for entrepreneurs with growth seen as the biggest priority
  • Legislation and economic climate are the biggest issues facing companies across 8 major sectors

The startup world is a fiercely competitive one, with companies across sectors opening and closing at a rapid rate. Safestore carried out research to find the biggest concerns for biggest owners, their most fundamental goals, and what they believe to be the top reasons for a business failing.

Biggest Business Issues

In every sector, business owners are faced with a number of problems to solve every day of the week. We’ve looked at 8 major sectors to find what matters most.

Legislation – Of all the metrics studied, legislation was the biggest concern on average. 30% of Agricultural companies place it as a key concern, with 1 in 5 owners of Transport, Real Estate and Business SME’s viewing it as a key issue.


Finance – 16% of manufacturing businesses see cash flow as a large concern, more than any other sector. The same sector also rank highest for worries over ‘access to finance’ with 1 in 10 stating it as a prominent issue.

The Economy – Only legislation is a more concerning factor for businesses than the current state of the economy, affecting 20% of Transport and Storage businesses.

Goals vs. Mistakes

By taking a look at existing survey data, Safestore have been able to highlight both the primary objectives for a business owner, and the most common reasons for failure. Some of the highlights from the research can be found below.



Aiming High – Growth is unsurprisingly one of the most important considerations for over half business owners outranking all other key goals

Tech & Structure – Nearly a third of business owners list their primary objectives to be related to IT or to the development of their companies structure

Clear Objectives – Less than 1 in 10 business owners place efficiency and innovation at the forefront of their business strategy, prioritising more practical goals such as workforce and finance.


No Idea – The highest proportion of business owners (35%) see the lack of a business model as the reason for failure

Money Talks – Over 1 in 5 of surveyed entrepreneurs claim that running out of cash was the reason for their ventures fall down

Hot Competition – 11% of those surveyed believed that ‘more able competitors’ were to blame for their companies’ demise, which is notable when a lower proportion value innovation as part of their business model.

Below is a more detailed breakdown of the survey results for goals and failures across business owners.



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