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THE NUMBER OF SMALL BUSINESSES CONTINUES TO GROW DESPITE ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY

According to the Small Report 2020, created by Small Business Saturday UK and sponsored by TSB, there is much optimism among the small business community.

The annual Small Report 2020 was recently launched which looked at the state of the nation and the key opportunities for small businesses this year and beyond. 

Small Business Saturday UK questioned many of its followers and more than 1,000 responded to an in-depth survey about the health of small business as we enter the post Brexit era. Of those questioned 86 per cent said they were ambitious for the growth of their business. 

A report which offers hope and insight for many small business owners, it showed that in spite of Brexit, more people than ever are starting a small business with 680,000 being created in 2019. For the first time the number small businesses active in the UK topped 5.8 million. 

Here at Total Guide to…we are sharing just a few of the highlights from the report. It showed  the same challenges face small businesses as have done for many years. No, it’s not Brexit it’s people and cash flow. Another problem is a lack of focus on digital and technology. Regarding the latter, 53 per cent of small businesses believe they have sufficient digital skills for their business, 47 per cent say they don’t. 

When it came to finance 58 per cent of those who took part said they had sufficient access to finance – 42 per cent said they did not. As for sources of finance that broke down to this:

  • 52 per cent had no source of finance. 
  • 19 per cent used an overdraft facility.
  • 9 per cent a business credit card.
  • 9 per cent a loan.
  • 11 per cent – other means. 

When it came to staff recruitment, 35 per cent of business owners said they were ‘somewhat unhappy’ when it came to the ability to recruit staff, 29 per cent said they were very happy and just two per cent were ‘very unhappy’. 

When it came to the impact of Brexit on talent, 87 per cent said they did not see any impact. Also 27 per cent said they were intending to recruit this year with 43 per cent said  they did not intend to recruit for new roles.

Exporting seems to be something of a missed opportunity with just 14 per cent saying they export overseas, 56 per cent saying they do not and 11 per cent saying they intend to start. The rest….who knows?

Another theme which has emerged is the number of women who are starting their own businesses many wanting to access opportunities afforded by digital technology. Although it’s been lamented that only a small proportion of women will go on to create a business of £1m turnover, it’s clear many women aim for freedom and self-determination over a desire to scale up. 

The report offers nine key areas which provide opportunities for growth:

  • Review and improve management skills
  • Carry out a data health check – analyse performance
  • Upskill digitally – it’s the future
  • Showcase your good work – it’s called PR and can give you an competitive edge.
  • Focus on mental health
  • Refocus on ambition 
  • Be open to new types of finance
  • Consider exporting
  • Don’t be afraid of bigger customers. 

To find out more details and download the report visit https://smallbusinessbritain.uk

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