News

Our small business news section covers the latest reports, research, stories and updates on regulations that affect the UK’s small and medium enterprises.

Calls For National Living Wage To Be Scrapped

Calls For National Living Wage To Be Scrapped

Calls have been made to scrap plans for the National Living Wage (NLW) as it’s suggested its implementation could lead to unemployment. A report from the Adam Smith Institute says that as businesses will need to fund the wage increases themselves, there’s a possibility they’ll hire fewer workers, automate certain processes, rise consumer prices or outsource their work abroad to make up the costs. If prices are increased, it’s argued that this will disproportionately affect the least well off in society as the cost of living will be increased. Around 5% of the UK workforce is currently paid the minimum wage, but this proportion is set to grow as the NLW rises from £7.60 in 2017 to £9.02 by 2020 Sam Bowman, executive director of the Adam Smith Institute and co-author of the paper, said: “We ... »

You’re Hired: 96% of Businesses Report Apprentice Benefits

You’re Hired: 96% of Businesses Report Apprentice Benefits

96% of businesses say hiring an apprentice has brought at least one benefit to their business, according to research from the Department for Education (DfE). 202,000 new apprentices are expected to be taken on in the next 12 months, with current trainee-friendly businesses reporting a number of positive outcomes directly related to their fledgling worker. Apprenticeship Levy: What You Need to Know Over 75% of firms that employ novice workers report increased productivity thanks to product/service improvement, while more than 24,000 private enterprises say that hiring a beginner has actually helped them win business. National Apprentice Week runs from March 6-10 which helps raise awareness of the opportunities apprenticeships can offer school leavers, graduates and the unemployed. Mike Cher... »

Business Owners More Worried About Europe Than Britain Post-Brexit

Business Owners More Worried About Europe Than Britain Post-Brexit

UK small business owners are more worried about the future of the European market than the domestic one, according to a new report by Idinvest Partners. The survey of 1,500 people revealed that 57% would describe themselves as “optimistic” when thinking about the UK economy over the next 12 months, with respondents 10% more concerned about Europe’s performance in the same period. Just 59% said they were pessimistic about the country’s future economic performance and a potential rise in inflation. With Article 50 set to be triggered next month, access to the single market (30%), raising finance (29%), and red tape (23%) were signalled as being the main causes of concern – with 47% saying that personal savings will be their most likely source of funding raising. Christophe Bavière, CEO and B... »

Fifth of Small Business Owners Still Use ‘Shoebox Method’ to Manage Accounts

Fifth of Small Business Owners Still Use ‘Shoebox Method’ to Manage Accounts

16% of UK small businesses still use a ‘shoebox method’ to manage their accounts despite the fact all taxes will be managed online by 2020. According to research by UK200Group, just 35% of smaller firms use online accounting software to manage their accounts while nearly a fifth make no effort whatsoever to record any information prior to submitting tax returns. 23% of those surveyed hold all relevant info in manually complied reports with 27% opting for spreadsheets on their computer. Making Tax Digital Explained Worryingly for businesses still opting for the pen and paper or nothing all, government initiative Making Tax Digital will see the tax system being full digitalised. Richard McNeilly, chair of the UK200Group Digitalisation Taskforce and managing partner of Dains said: “The ‘shoeb... »

Red Tape Holding Back Small Business Growth

Red Tape Holding Back Small Business Growth

UK small businesses are struggling to dedicate time to achieving growth, because red tape and regulations are taking up too much of their time. In a study of 500 small firms by instantprint, respondents were revealed to have spent over 25% of their working week completing admin – instead of looking to expand the business. In contrast, 10% of those surveyed spend less than an hour a week attempting to increase profit, while 8% struggle to find any time whatsoever. When asked about what regulations give business owners the biggest headache, employment law surrounding working hours and holiday allowance was highlighted as significant blight on work efficiency, followed by invoice processing and managing customer service. In terms of solutions, recruitment seems to top the list of small firm o... »

Government Names And Shames Underpaying Businesses

Government Names And Shames Underpaying Businesses

The government has named and shamed underpaying businesses by publishing a list of all firms who fail to pay workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW). The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has released a list of 359 businesses who underpaid 15,513 workers a total of £994,685. Offenders include kebab shops, nurseries, retail stores, football clubs and tradesmen with small businesses making up the bulk of the list. As well as recovering arrears for some of the UK’s lowest paid workers, HMRC issued penalties worth around £800,000. By law, adult workers aged 22 and over, except “accredited” trainees and some excluded groups, must be paid a NMW of at least £6.95 an hour – though this will increase from 1 April 2017. For the first time, ... »

3 Years To Go: Businesses MUST Get Smart By 2020, Report Finds

3 Years To Go: Businesses MUST Get Smart By 2020, Report Finds

Small businesses have three years to ‘get smart’ and ensure their offices are prepared for a wave of new connected tech in the ‘Open Economy’, a report by Samsung has revealed. According to the research, there will be an estimated 7.3bn connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices by 2020 and small enterprises will be left behind if they don’t adapt to these changes. A challenge exists for businesses meeting the needs of ‘millennials’, who are fast becoming the default decision makers within organisations – as many have come to expect consumer-driven technologies and ideas in their working lives too; such as virtual and augmented reality and personal artificial intelligences. This ‘Open Economy’ will be characterised by businesses cooperating with freelance workers, routine embedding o... »

61% Of Businesses Believe They’ll Be Victims Of Cybercrime In 2017

61% Of Businesses Believe They’ll Be Victims Of Cybercrime In 2017

61% of UK small businesses believe they’ll be the victim of an attack by cybercriminals in 2017, according to research by Mimecast. The survey of 800 IT decision makers has revealed that business owners’ worst fears are soon being realised, as 57% of UK enterprises have reported a rise in phishing emails in the past three months – with 47% targeted specifically at their organisation or an individual. When it comes to anticipating an attack, 73% believe a malicious attachment in an email will be the most likely way they’ll be infected by ransomware. This news comes just days after the Queen officially launched the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in London. Helping to back a £2bn government effort to fight cybercrime, the centre is part of intelligence agency Government Com... »

Businesses Kiss Goodbye £8.72bn Managing Expenses

Businesses Kiss Goodbye £8.72bn Managing Expenses

UK small businesses kiss goodbye £8.72bn every year by just managing expenses, it’s been revealed on Valentine’s Day. A survey of 1,200 small firms, conducted by Soldo and YouGov, has revealed that employees who work for smaller enterprises spend just over four hours a week completing financial admin, including invoicing, accounting, expenses, budgeting and forecasting. While money can’t buy you love, the resources in real cash terms needed to complete the management of expenses actually equals billions of pounds. When respondents were asked to identify particular struggles, day to day cash flow management was signaled by 15% as being a significant problem – with the smaller the business, the more likely they’d struggle. Just last week, it was revealed that 35% of small firms waste t... »

UK Small Businesses Expect Profits To Increase 4% Year-On-Year

UK Small Businesses Expect Profits To Increase 4% Year-On-Year

50% UK small businesses expect their profits to increase 4% year-on-year, according to a global study of 3,200 small firms. The American Express Global SME Pulse has revealed that a majority of respondents are generally optimistic about the world economy over the next 12 months, with 14% of British-based businesses look forward to revenue growth of at least 8% over the same period. In terms of profitability, 57% of UK small enterprises are forecasting a net profit of 4% per annum over the next three years, while 22% forecast net profit in excess of 8% over the same period. When it came to priority areas of investment for UK respondents, 79% said reacting quickly to changing business demands was their biggest, 63% said it was applying the latest technology, while 60% said it was developing ... »

Page 1 of 298123»