Shane Donnelly's Posts

Small Businesses Charged £4bn in Hidden EU Money Transfers

Small Businesses Charged £4bn in Hidden EU Money Transfers

UK banks charge small and medium sized businesses nearly £4bn in hidden EU transfer fees each year, a new study conducted by Accourt and commissioned by Money Mover has claimed. The report, which surveyed six of the country’s biggest banks to find out the costs of making a euro transfer, alleges that 96% of bank revenues from foreign currency transactions are hidden from small business customers. The report claims there is a lack of transparency between banks and small businesses with the average total transaction cost charged by a bank to a small business customer on a transfer of £75,000 being 2.43%, or £1,822. Of this cost, £1,807 is based on the ‘spread’ – a margin added which is hidden from the customer. Overall, small businesses will pay between 1.12% and 3.68% of the transfer ... »

Majority of Small Businesses Struggle to Monitor Basic Finances

Majority of Small Businesses Struggle to Monitor Basic Finances

The majority of UK small and medium businesses will go through 2016 without accurate revenue records or sales information a new report by Worldpay has found. The report suggests that small business owners are struggling to plan for the year ahead because they are unable to monitor even the most basic numbers including revenue, profit and top-selling items – with one in five using just a pen and paper for business admin. Nearly half (48%) of small business owners cannot identify their top 10 customers or their ordering habits while 40% cannot provide up-to-date monitoring or forecast of revenue and profit. A further 57% unable to pinpoint their busiest trading day of the month while 62% of the small businesses surveyed were unaware of their top three selling items. Worldpay UK managing dire... »

Less than Two in Five Small Firms Expect to Grow in First Quarter of 2016

Less than Two in Five Small Firms Expect to Grow in First Quarter of 2016

Only 36% of UK small businesses expect to grow in January to March 2016, according to business funder Bibby Financial Services (BFS). BFS’ latest confidence tracker shows that growth expectations have plummeted with 35% of small firms not planning to invest in their business at all in the first quarter of this year, while one in five expect declining sales. The survey suggests that increased competition, lack of domestic demand and late payments from customers are the top challenges facing small businesses today, with almost a third of respondents having stated that the uncertain UK economic environment is holding them back from future investment. Of all parts of the UK, Scotland appears to be worst hit for business confidence with only 29% of Scottish business owners and decision-makers e... »

Small Businesses Reject Banks in Favour of Alternative Finance

Small Businesses Reject Banks in Favour of Alternative Finance

New research has found that London-based small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly looking towards alternative finance with traditional bank lending plummeting. Research conducted by the British Bankers’ Association show that the value of all newly approved loans and overdrafts to small businesses in the third quarter of 2015 was down 40% on 2014 totals, from £1.7bn to just over £1bn. Instead, companies are looking towards alternative sources such as crowdfunding or peer-to-peer (P2P) lending to raise finance. Businesses in the capital raised an estimated £350m through peer-to-peer lending in 2015 with the average loan value approved for smaller businesses rising to over £86,000 across July to September 2015. The average value for medium-sized businesses was £366,000. Roz O’Brien,... »

Scottish Business Owners Will Be Hit Hardest by Living Wage Hike

Scottish Business Owners Will Be Hit Hardest by Living Wage Hike

The upcoming introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) will create problems for business owners in lower-paying areas, particularly those based outside major UK cities, a new  report by think tank Resolution Foundation has found. The study suggests that the new NLW rate of £7.20 an hour for over 25s – which will come into effect this April will impact 23% of all employees by 2020. The report also claims that the new rates will hit businesses outside of London and other major UK cities the most, with Scotland set to be the hardest hit. In Scotland, 33% of Clackmannanshire employees will be affected, followed by employees in Dumfries and Galloway (32%), and East Renfrewshire (31%). However, employees based in the city are expected to be less affected, such as Dundee (18%), Edinburgh (17... »

UK Small E-commerce  Businesses Set to Expand in 2016

UK Small E-commerce Businesses Set to Expand in 2016

49% of the UK’s small online businesses are confident about their prospects in the New Year, according to a study carried out by eBay in conjunction with YouGov. The Small Business Optimism Index, which surveyed over 400 online retailers, found that one in 10(13%) small e-commerce companies expect to employ more staff over the next 12 months while 40% plan to expand their product offering in 2016. Only 22% of the small businesses surveyed were pessimistic about the UK economy and their own trading forecasts. These encouraging statistics point to the continued growth of the UK’s e-commerce sector, which last year generated £573bn in sales, up from £561bn in 2013. Kit Glover, director of professional selling for eBay UK, said: “The business community should be very encouraged by the findings... »

50% of UK Business Owners Look to Grow Operations

50% of UK Business Owners Look to Grow Operations

A new level of optimism among small business owners has many wanting to expand with 50% planning to grow operations in the future, according to a new report by Fleximize. Of the 129 businesses surveyed, 42% of entrepreneurs said they intend to develop new products and services, 23% said they had plans to hire more staff and 17% believe they will need larger premises. It was also revealed that 27% of business owners intend to buy new machinery, with one in three planning to expand into new geographical markets. Additionally, the findings indicate growing business revenues and profits. 35% of the businesses surveyed said their revenues were higher than they were 12 months ago while 29% said their profits were also higher over this time period. Fleximize has suggested that the rise in alterna... »

Over 55s Cash in Pensions to Access £400m Business Funding

Over 55s Cash in Pensions to Access £400m Business Funding

UK business owners aged over 55 are planning to cash in £400m from their pensions in order to grow their small businesses, Clifton Asset Management and Pensionledfunding.com have estimated in new research The research stated that entrepreneurs over 55 years-old, referred to as “olderpreneurs”, have been utilising the government’s pension freedoms – introduced in April this year – to access a tax free cash lump sum to fuel their business ventures According to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, entrepreneurial activity among over 50 year-olds has increased by over 50% since 2008 and the report suggests that over 55s are now using their pension to launch companies instead of using it to “go on cruises”. The report also highlighted recent research by PRIME which indicated that compani... »

Small Businesses Opt For Alternative Finance Over Traditional Funding Routes

Small Businesses Opt For Alternative Finance Over Traditional Funding Routes

Personal funding and asset based finance were the top two funding options used by UK small and medium enterprises last quarter as small firms move away from bank lending, according to the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer (CBBB). The survey revealed that almost of quarter of small firms choose to use personal finance, followed by 17% who used asset finance to fund their business; compared to 15% of firms which used bank loans and 15% that used overdrafts. Assess to finance continues to be a top issue for small businesses. 42% of respondents confirmed that raising finance is a challenge with an additional 10% of business owners admitting they were not confident in their ability to access the investment needed for growth in the coming year. Commenting on the figures, CEO of Close Brot... »

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