Need to know

20 June 2016

Three big health stories from recent weeks – and how they affect small businesses.

It needn’t be lonely at the top

What’s the story?

Loneliness and poor social relationships were associated with a 29% increase in risk of developing coronary heart disease and a 32% increase in risk of stroke, according to researchers from the University of York1.

How does this affect me and my small business?

Bupa understands that working for yourself can be a lonely business. In a recent government-commissioned review of self-employment, a quarter of self-employed respondents to a survey said ‘colleagues’ was the thing they missed most about being an employee2. While many small businesses do have employees, it’s common to start out with just one person, and 76% of UK businesses currently don’t employ anyone other than the owner3.

How Bupa can help

  • We recognise that working with other self-employed people, for example in hubs, could help you mix with more people. Therefore we’ve teamed up with NearDesk to offer office-space discount as one of the many benefits of our Business Club.
  • If you’re not already a member of our Business Club, speak to your account manager at renewal.

What keeps you awake at night?

If it’s any of the following, you’re not alone

  • keeping staff
  • managing cash flow
  • red tape
  • compliance
  • economic volatility

These were the top five business issues keeping small businesses up at night, according to Hitachi Capital’s British Business Barometer, a quarterly survey more than 1,000 small businesses4. In addition, the proportion of businesses saying they’re worried about each of these issues has risen markedly over the past year.

How Bupa can help

If you’re struggling to keep everything straight in your mind, try our relaxation techniques. Not only will they help you to focus and stay calm during the day, but doing them at bedtime may also help you prepare for a good night’s sleep and improve how you feel in general.

Business owners ‘afraid of debt’

What’s the story?

Over three quarters of UK small business owners say that risk of debt prevents them from seeking funding outside the traditional sources of savings, overdrafts and bank loans, according to a survey by Wesleyan Bank5. Add to this the fact that small business confidence has dropped to its lowest level since 2013, according to the Federation of Small Businesses6, and it’s clear that businesses are feeling cautious at the moment.

Why does this matter?

Confidence to grow small businesses, and the ability to source funding to do so, can help keep the ‘engine of the British economy’ running6.

How Bupa can help

We want your business be as confident as it can be, whether that’s by providing practical help through our Employee Assistance service ‘Healthy Minds’ (this is an additional Bupa paid for service), or simply helping you to be reassured that if you or your team were suddenly ill, they’d have access to the right care to get them back on their feet as quickly as possible.

To register an interest in Healthy Minds or any of our other products fill in your details in our contact form and we'll get back to you.

Find out if there’s anything more we can help you with. Call us on 03457 55 33 22^

What's next?

^ Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. We may record or monitor our calls.


  1. Valtorta NK, Kanaan M, Gilbody S, et al. Heart Published Online First: 18 April 2016 doi:10.1136/heartjnl- 2015-308790
  2. Self-Employment Review: An independent report, February 2016
  3. Federation of Small Businesses: Business Population Estimates for the UK and Regions in 2015
  4. The real business of worrying
  5. Wesleyan Bank: 78% of SMEs are too risk-averse to seek external finance
  6. FSB voice of small business index, quarter 1, 2016