New frustrating online game navigates you through challenges of SME owners

Will you survive these office obstacles in this addictively frustrating game? Playing the character of a business owner, “SME City” requires you to navigate your way through a series of everyday company hurdles – from piled-up paperwork, to demanding clients.

Inspired by the retro 80s arcade scene, the aim of the game is to get from start to finish without being caught out by any of these tricky realities – and it’s much harder than it seems.

Those in the top three positions on the leaderboard will receive prizes, including up to £200 in “life:style” gift vouchers, with a choice of over 125 brands – which can be won on a quarterly basis, starting from Friday, 8th September.

Its creation comes after expert, Kate Hardcastle, revealed the pitfalls of running a small business – from being a huge time commitment, to the social impact.

Unrealistic expectations of running a business were also cited as something to watch out for, as she emphasises the reward is not just in results and finances – but also how you feel.

It’s also likely that start-ups will overstretch themselves during the early days, with over-investing in things like equipment, staff, or stock – so it’s important to keep this under control and stay sensible.

Kate has partnered with business insurance company, Superscript, which also commissioned research of 500 SMEs revealing the top stresses they faced at the start of their journey.

She also stated the fear of failure is real, but surrounding yourself with a “dream team” of experts in all areas of the business will help release pressure, and protect your company on all levels.

Mai Fenton, CMO for the brand, said: “Starting your own business is never easy, and we wanted to bring this to life through this retro-inspired SME City game.

“Our research shows that while work admin can be the bane of every business owner, the majority of small business owners are positive that technology can provide a helping hand in making their business admin chores easier.

“There are indeed plenty of obstacles to overcome – some of which can be unexpected – but the results are so rewarding that it’s all worth it in the end.”

The study found a third of SME owners don’t have enough hours in the day to complete all the necessary business admin – and as a result, 43 percent typically end up taking their work home with them each evening.

The average business owner claims they would need an additional four hours to get it all done – but in reality, only have 90 minutes to get through their daily admin to-do list.

When it comes to specific tasks, dealing with tax (29 percent), managing cash flow (20 percent), and supply chain issues (18 percent), were cited as the most time-consuming.

And a fifth wish the process of hiring staff was made simpler, while 14 percent would like help with managing and buying insurance.

However, for 88 percent of those polled, via OnePoll, technology has helped make doing business admin a lot easier for them.

The toughest challenges of running your own business include working long hours (24 percent), keeping on top of paperwork (13 percent), and chasing payments (14 percent).

Despite this, 86 percent claim that becoming a business owner is the best decision they’ve ever made.

Kate Hardcastle said: “Running your own business, with all the highs and lows that go along with being your own boss, can still be one of the most rewarding journeys – hard work and long hours are undeniable, but the rewards can be multifaceted.

“Seeking external expertise and advice for business helps you focus on the areas you are passionate about, and eliminate the fear and concerns of potential pitfalls.

“Setting up your own business isn’t for the faint-hearted, and certainly the economic climate ahead indicates there are more challenges to come – but listening to your customers, thinking outside in, and looking at ways to collaborate with others, is the best road to success.”

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