Megan Dunsby, Author at Business advice to help you run your business's Posts

Small Businesses Lack Basic Digital Skills

Small Businesses Lack Basic Digital Skills

There is a dearth of digital skills which could be hindering the success of many UK start-ups. According to a study by 123 Reg, 85% of micro-businesses lack the skills needed to establish their business online, with only 38% of small businesses and 55% of one person businesses saying they have a website. Despite 70% of business owners saying they thought digital knowledge was crucial to future success, 42% said they had no digital presence, and only 53% said their websites were easily readable on a mobile device. Small enterprises make up 1/5 of the UK economy and are currently worth £763 billion. However, they are missing out on the potential to boost their performance by 14%. Nick Leech, digital director at 123 Reg, said: “Micro-businesses are time-poor and resource light, juggling multi... »

Small Businesses Paid Record High £32 Billion in Corporation Tax in 2015

Small Businesses Paid Record High £32 Billion in Corporation Tax in 2015

Last year, ‘real economy’ UK businesses paid a record high £32.4 billion in corporation tax, according to Funding Options, the online business finance supermarket. Funding Options says that the extra tax taken from small businesses gives the government the opportunity to ease the tax burden placed on small enterprises. UK businesses have been paying extra tax in order to make up for the shortfall of the reduced tax take from North Sea oil & gas. Corporation tax revenue from North Sea oil & gas companies has fallen from £10.2 billion in 2008/2009 to £2.5 billion in 2015, the lowest since rate since 1999/2000. Conrad Ford, CEO of Funding Options, said: “Reintroducing a lower corporation tax rate for small businesses would be a major and deserved boost to UK SMEs. Small businesses in ... »

Auto-enrolment Pensions Set-Up Could Cost Small Businesses £317m

Auto-enrolment Pensions Set-Up Could Cost Small Businesses £317m

  Over the next three years the UK’s small and micro businesses will spend an estimated £317m on automatic enrolment (auto-enrolment) workplace pension set-up costs, research from Paycircle suggests. With around 1.8 million small firms required to set up a workplace pension between now and 2018 – 500,000 having done so already in 2016 – the research predict that many of these businesses are spending an average of £440 for advice on auto-enrolment compliance. See more: Auto-enrolment – What it means for your business Paycircle has claimed that in many cases this complaince expenditure is unnecessary as some smaller companies are exempt for auto-enrolemnt, some providers do not charge set-up costs, and others automate the set-up and contributions process. Catherine Pinkey, c... »

£29bn raised by businesses using asset finance in 2015

£29bn raised by businesses using asset finance in 2015

UK businesses are increasingly looking to non-bank finance with over £29.1bn secured through asset finance and leasing in 2015; research from LDF has suggested. Asset finance jumped 12% in 2015 up from £26bn in 2014 – marking the highest level since the £30.8bn secured in 2008. The report indicates that demand for asset finance – which enables companies to borrow the cost of a capital investment upfront and repay it over fixed monthly payments – is surging and claims that this is partly due to the fact that businesses owners are now more aware of the “benefits of leasing”. The research follows a recent partnership by LDF with the British Business Bank to “significantly increase” the supply of asset finance and leasing with a £51m funding facility. Peter Alderson, ma... »

Small Firms Worried About Business Prospects in 2016

Small Firms Worried About Business Prospects in 2016

The UK’s small firms are losing confidence about business opportunities and growth in 2016 and view overseas demand as one of the “biggest threats to their fortunes” this year; according to the 24th Business in Britain report by Lloyds Bank. Surveying 1,500 small and medium sized businesses with revenues ranging from under £10m to over £15m, the report found that business confidence in sales, orders and profits for the next six months has dropped from 43% in July and January 2015, to 38% in January 2016. 31% of the businesses surveyed cited weaker UK demand as the main threat to their business (up from 29% in July 2015) while 25% cited a fall in export optimism, particularly for Europe. The net balance of firms expecting to increase exports to Europe was found to be 19%; ... »

Ineffective Planning Could Cost Small Businesses £25bn in 2016

Ineffective Planning Could Cost Small Businesses £25bn in 2016

Poor planning could see UK small businesses lose £25bn in revenue in 2016, according to latest research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) on behalf of npower Business. Surveying 1,035 small business owners across the UK, the research found that companies with a business plan in place were more likely to achieve revenue growth in the New Year than those that did not. While 26% of the small firms surveyed said they did not have a business plan, 51% of the “top performing” businesses surveyed said they worked to a detailed business plan and anticipated a 8.2% increase in revenue growth in 2016 “as a direct result” – 1.6% higher than the revenue growth expected by the “average” small firm next year. Laura Holdgate, senior econo... »

Small Business Growth Expectations Drop to Lowest Levels Since Early 2014

Small Business Growth Expectations Drop to Lowest Levels Since Early 2014

Only 46% of small businesses in the UK are expecting their business to grow during the final quarter of 2014, according to Bibby Financial Services’ small and medium-sized enterprise Confidence Tracker. The quarterly survey of over 1,000 UK small businesses found that the number of businesses predicting a decline in sales had reached the highest level yet seen since the tracker began in early 2014. Under half of the business owners surveyed (46%) said they were holding off making future investment decisions, with one in five (21%) claiming this was due to continuing uncertainty over the UK economy. 57% said they were not planning on hiring any new staff over the next three months. Of the businesses planning to invest, most were focused on staying ahead of the competition and replacing old ... »

Pension Providers to “Close Doors” for Small Business Auto Enrolment

Pension Providers to “Close Doors” for Small Business Auto Enrolment

More than three quarters of business advisers believe there will be growing numbers of pension providers who will not offer auto enrolment schemes to companies with fewer than 30 employees, research conducted by Defaqto and NOW:Pensions has claimed. Surveying 248 advisers, 82% said they felt providers had been “cherry picking” businesses for auto enrolment schemes and 33% said small businesses didn’t have enough choice over pension providers. Over two thirds of business advisers (67%) said they expect to see an increasing number of pension providers introduce an employer charge for auto enrolment yet 69% admitted a charge would not deter them from recommending a scheme. NOW: Pensions CEO, Morten Nilsson, commented: “Auto enrolment is working but its biggest challenge is y... »

The Prime Minister Wants Your Views on an Apprenticeship Levy

The Prime Minister Wants Your Views on an Apprenticeship Levy

David Cameron has today launched a consultation to find out business’ views on the introduction of an apprenticeship levy. The levy, intended to be introduced in 207, is designed to increase investment in training and apprenticeships and will enable employers who put in funds to have direct spending power over it. Business owners are being asked to share their views on how the levy should be paid, how it should work for employers, and how best to give employers control of apprenticeships. Levy systems are already being used in 50 countries such as Denmark, South Korea and the Netherlands. Cameron commented: “We are committed to supporting three million quality apprenticeships over the next five years – to help strengthen our economy, deliver the skills that employers need and g... »

86% of Small Business Owners Say “Future Growth Relies on Millennials”

86% of Small Business Owners Say “Future Growth Relies on Millennials”

UK small and medium enterprises are reliant on millennials-those born between 1980 and 2000-to ensure the future success of their business, according to new research by Lloyds Bank. The survey, which questioned 400 small firms with turnover of between £1m and £25m, found that 86% of business owners were dependent on recruiting millennial talent and the research indicated that small businesses are, on average, spending 15% of their annual revenue to recruit millennials. More than three quarters of the business owners surveyed said they feel under pressure to sell themselves to millennials and a third admitted that they have worried a young candidate has turned down a job offer because they didn’t like their business culture. 25% of business owners even said that they wanted a millenni... »

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