Shane Donnelly's Posts

Small Businesses Now Make Up 99.8% of the British Economy

Small Businesses Now Make Up 99.8% of the British Economy

Small businesses now make up a staggering 99.8% of the British economy, according to a new report by Xero. While generating 47% of the country’s revenue, the survey found that small to medium sized companies also employ 60% of the British work force. Of the 1,300 small businesses surveyed, 53% said remaining optimistic was the key to running a successful enterprise. While 36% were optimistic of their businesses future, 77% said they still had problems they’d like resolved including managing staff and clients (23%), cash flow management (19%) and having time to work on the business (19%). The survey also highlighted figures from the Office of National Statistics which revealed that in spite of 58% of UK businesses closing before their fifth birthday, drop off rates significantly decline ove... »

Exports for UK Small Businesses Up 6% on 2014

Exports for UK Small Businesses Up 6% on 2014

UK small enterprises saw a rise of 6% in export payments from Europe from 2014 to 2015 , according to the new Barclays’ Business Abroad index. Of the top 10 export destinations for UK small businesses, four-fifths were in Europe. Germany was found to be  the top export destination for UK small firms with a 6% uplift on trade in 2014  – followed by France (+19% uplift) and the United States (+2% uplift) in second and third place respectively. The index also found growth in exports from the UK’s retail and manufacturing businesses in 2015, up by 36% and 10% respectively compared to 2014, despite a difficult year for the manufacturing sector. Exports to China from the UK continued to grow at a steady rate, up 21% in the same period. Steve Childs, head of international for business banking at ... »

UK Small Business Confidence Falls to Three Year Low

UK Small Business Confidence Falls to Three Year Low

Confidence amongst UK small enterprises is at a three-year low, according to BDO’s Business Trends survey. The report – which predicts growth six months ahead – found that confidence levels have declined to 100.0, the tipping point below which small businesses can expect their output growth to drop under the long-term trend rate. The survey claimed that global economic fears and the upcoming EU referendum are further fuelling uncertainty and causing business confidence to dip. The report comes just days after a similar report found that UK small business confidence has plummeted. Peter Hemington, partner, BDO LLP, said: “Global headwinds are finally hitting business confidence and the added uncertainty of EU referendum just round the corner is fuelling concerns.” »

Small Business Confidence “Plummets” due to Economic Uncertainty

Small Business Confidence “Plummets” due to Economic Uncertainty

Small business confidence in the economy has dropped by 11 points since the last quarter. according to a report by Smith & Williamson. Concerns over the economy and two “less than friendly” statements from George Osborne regarding small enterprises are thought to have contributed to the change in attitude. In the Summer Budget, the chancellor of the exchequer announced changes to the taxation of dividends and in his Autumn Statement he put forward his plan for quarterly tax reporting by 2020. Optimism, among respondents to the survey, for their own prospects over the next 12 months has also declined by eight points to 74%. There is little support for an interest rate rise with 24% of businesses claiming confidence is being adversely affected by the Bank of England maintaining interest ... »

Small Business Owners Happier Being their Own Boss

Small Business Owners Happier Being their Own Boss

The majority (71%) of UK small business owners are happier now than they were as an employee a new study by instantprint has found. The survey of 500 small businesses revealed that while happiness levels had increased, some 46% said they had to sacrifice family time, while 45% had sacrificed going on holiday and 40% income. While over 50% of business owners noted that they had gained confidence by starting their own business, an eighth of business owners said they only got three to four hours’ sleep a night and a fifth admitting to potentially putting their health at risk by missing a medical appointment due to work. When asked about their biggest worries, a quarter (26%) of business owners said they were concerned about how government regulations will affect them. On the process of runnin... »

Sajid Javid confirms devolved Sunday trading laws will go ahead

Sajid Javid confirms devolved Sunday trading laws will go ahead

New laws on Sunday trading hours are set to benefit the UK’s city centres and high streets, business secretary Sajid Javid has announced. Part of a package of measures that will be introduced in the Enterprise Bill, councils will be able to “zone” any relaxation to prioritise high streets and city centres. This will mean footfall can be directed towards struggling high streets by allowing them to open longer. Further measures include allowing shop workers to give just one month’s notice when opting not to work Sundays as opposed to the previous required notice of three months. In August, the government launched a consultation to gather opinions on whether it should devolve Sunday trading rules to local authorities. Sajid Javid said: “Extending Sunday trading hours has the potential to help... »

Only Half of Small Business Owners Support Osborne’s “Northern Powerhouse”

Only Half of Small Business Owners Support Osborne’s “Northern Powerhouse”

Just 50% of small to medium sized business owners back chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne’s “Northern Powerhouse” plan, according to a new report Federation for Small Businesses (FSB). The survey of more than 3,000 members, revealed that while nine in 10 (93%) small business owners claimed to know about the “Northern Powerhouse” – a fifth (21%) said they were not actually clear what the concept meant in practice. Furthermore, almost a fifth (16%) of Northern firms still need to be persuaded about how the “Northern Powerhouse” concept will positively impact their business. Small enterprises cited greater local control over spending (40%) as their top priority for the “devolution revolution” alongside investments in digital infrastructure (37%), inter-city transport (37%) and workpla... »

UK Economic Growth Slowest in Three Years

UK Economic Growth Slowest in Three Years

The UK’s economic growth is at its lowest in three years, according to a report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The survey of 759 respondents across the manufacturing, retail and services sectors, showed the pace of growth has dropped to its slowest rate since May 2013. Last week official figures put UK growth at 0.5% in the last quarter of 2015, the slowest for three years. The slowdown was mainly driven by the business and professional services sector – which includes management, legal services and telecoms. In the manufacturing sector, output and new orders were flat, but growth in the consumer services sector remained consistent, and retail sales volumes grew at an above average pace. Despite the negative trend, the outlook for businesses over the next three months is m... »

Auto-Enrolment Among Biggest Concerns for Small Businesses in 2016

Auto-Enrolment Among Biggest Concerns for Small Businesses in 2016

Auto-enrolment – the government’s new legal requirement for businesses to automatically enrol staff into a qualifying pension scheme – is a major concern for one in five UK small businesses this year, according to a new report by Exemplas. Of those who identified the auto-enrolment pension scheme as a challenge, some felt they were even being bullied to comply with it. The survey, of 150 managers of small to medium enterprises, found that other big challenges small businesses believe they face in 2016 are finding employees with appropriate skills (45%) and raising finance (32%). Nearly 32% of those surveyed also cited finding new business and entering new markets a major concern for the next 12 months. Other potential problems identified included challenges and costs of employe... »

Small Businesses “Don’t Believe” They’re at Risk of Cyber Crime

Small Businesses “Don’t Believe” They’re at Risk of Cyber Crime

Two in five UK businesses (44%) don’t believe they are at risk of cyber-crime while more than a third would not know what to do if they became victims, according to a new report by Aviva. Despite the perceived lack of risk, the study found that more than one-third of businesses have suffered a cyber-attack with almost a quarter of business owners (23%) admitting to being unaware of how to protect themselves from a security breach. For those small firms which haves suffered a cyber-crime, 75% said it cost up to £1,000 to put things right. Between May and August of last year, there were a reported two and a half million incidents of cyber-crime. This report comes only a week after it was revealed more than a half of small businesses are at “high risk” of a security breach. Angus Eaton, manag... »

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