Larger businesses are more concerned with the impact of potential risks than smaller ones, according to new research

Medium-sized businesses are more concerned with the impact of potential risks than small businesses, according to new research.

The research, conducted by Broker Network and Charterhouse Research on behalf of John Whippy Insurance Brokers found that medium-sized businesses with fewer than 250 employees were consistently more concerned about potential risks to their business than smaller businesses with under 50 employees.

A total of 538 small and medium-sized businesses around the UK were surveyed on the areas of their business that they were most concerned about. They were presented with 10 common business concerns and asked to state whether found them to present no risk, low risk, moderate risk, high risk or an extreme risk to their business. These 10 potential risks were business reputation, industry changes, data protection & cyber-crime, regulation, supply chain issues, financial issues, customer issues, technology, employee issues and legal issues.

For all 10 concerns, a higher percentage of medium-sized businesses listed them as a high or extreme risk. The most commonly voiced concern was business reputation, which 39% of surveyed businesses in London felt was a high or extreme risk to their business. This was the most commonly-voiced concern for smaller businesses too, however for small businesses this figure was 28%.

The biggest difference in concern for medium-sized businesses came with the issues of data protection & cyber-crime. 35% of medium-sized businesses felt this area was a high or extreme risk, a 14% rise when compared to small businesses.

Medium-sized businesses were also concerned by financial issues, customer issues and employee issues by more than 10% when compared to small businesses. There were no risks medium-sized businesses felt less concerned by than small ones.

Commenting on the findings Robert Whippy at John Whippy Insurance Brokers said; “When it comes to established businesses, those with more employees consistently express greater concern about the impact of potential risks upon their success than smaller businesses with fewer members of staff.

“A business with more moving parts has more to keep track of and more that could potentially go wrong, and because of this it’s not surprising that medium-sized businesses are more concerned than smaller ones with issues like reputation, regulation and employee issues.

“They are also noticeably more concerned with issues surrounding data protection and cyber-crime as they fear they are more likely to become a target for criminals and have more important data that could be lost or compromised in a breach.

“With this in mind, it’s crucial that medium-sized businesses pay close attention to their cyber defences, including having up-to-date security software, regularly backing up important information, taking care with passwords, and taking out an effective cyber liability insurance policy that covers them in the event of a breach or attack.”

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