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.

Closing On Bank Holidays Could Cost Small Businesses £2,250 Each

Closing On Bank Holidays Could Cost Small Businesses £2,250 Each

UK small businesses could potentially lose £2,250 each if they opt to close on every bank holiday this year, according to a report by Yell Business. The survey of 1,500 small firms and 1,500 consumers revealed that just 26% of businesses open their doors on bank holidays – despite 86% of the public saying they specifically use the day to shop around. Just 42% of retail, catering and leisure businesses operate as normal – though its suggested many more should consider opening too. When divided by region, the Midlands sees the fewest amount of businesses open on bank holiday at just 16%, while Yorkshire sees the highest, with 37%. The remaining bank holidays in 2017 are as follows: 1 May Monday Early May bank holiday 29 May Monday Spring bank holiday 28 August Monday Summer bank holiday 25 D... »

20% Of Firms Believe GDPR Non-Compliance Will Force Them Out Of Business

20% Of Firms Believe GDPR Non-Compliance Will Force Them Out Of Business

20% of businesses believe that the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be so severe it could potentially force them to close their doors, according to a report by Veritas Technologies. The global study revealed that 86% of worldwide enterprises are concerned that GDPR will negatively impact their business, as businesses guilty of non-compliance could face fines of up to €20m or 4% of turnover. Worryingly, 47% of those surveyed admit their company still isn’t ready for GDPR, which comes into effect on the 25 May 2018. Among new regulations include stricter rules on consumer consent and protecting against cyber-attacks, while firms with more than 250 staff will be legally required to hire a data protection officer. General Data Protection Regulation: How to Prepare Mike Palmer... »

Nearly 60% of Business Owners Are Worried Brexit Will Damage Their Recruitment Plans

Nearly 60% of Business Owners Are Worried Brexit Will Damage Their Recruitment Plans

59% of UK small businesses are worried that immigration rules post-Brexit will damage their ability to recruit suitable staff, according to a report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The What Small Firms Want From Brexit report, which surveyed 1,236 FSB members, revealed that 56% of ‘EU-employers’ are worried about any changes to current employment legislation whatsoever – with 13% even considering moving their operations abroad or shutting their doors altogether. With regards current staff, 72% of respondents said they recruited said employees while they were already in the UK, while 95% have no experience in the current “points-based “system for obtaining work permits for non-EU citizens. In its recommendation to the government, the FSB urged Theresa May to g... »

Six Weeks Before The General Election 80% Of Small Businesses Are Optimistic About The Future

Six Weeks Before The General Election 80% Of Small Businesses Are Optimistic About The Future

With the UK entering election season, small business optimism is at a four-year high – according to a report by Smith & Williamson. The survey of over 200 business leaders revealed that 85% are earmarking the second half of 2017 as a time for growth – with 80% optimistic about the future of their business in the next 12 months. Despite political and economic uncertainty in recent times, the findings represent entrepreneur confidence is at its highest level since mid-2013 – and 30% higher than the end of 2016. Guy Rigby, head of entrepreneurial services at Smith & Williamson, said: “There is no doubt that small businesses continue to have gripes about the government policy. However, the prime minister seems to have caught them in a buoyant mood. It’s possible that, by triggering Art... »

Q1 2017 Sees UK Retail Take Biggest Sales Hit In Seven Years

Q1 2017 Sees UK Retail Take Biggest Sales Hit In Seven Years

UK retail sales have reported their biggest quarterly sales drop in seven years in March, falling 1.4% on the final quarter of 2016, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. The figure also declined 1.8% on February 2017, though the total amount spent was still higher than a year ago. The drop coincided with a rise in the cost of everyday goods by 3.3% – the highest growth since March 2012. At 16/4%, petrol stations saw the biggest increase. Only the textiles, clothing and footwear sectors were immune, with the amount spent on all three up 2.5% on the preceding quarter, while online sales jumped by 19.5% in the 12 months to March and increased by 0.5% on February. Keith Richardson, managing director of retail at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “These ... »

Small Businesses Admit They’ve Wasted £12.6bn On Bad Consultants

Small Businesses Admit They’ve Wasted £12.6bn On Bad Consultants

UK small businesses have admitted they’ve wasted £12.6bn on consultants that didn’t improve the performance of their business. According to a report by Zeqr, UK enterprises spent £60bn on external experts last year – though an estimated one million small firms didn’t get value for money. Accounting was the most sought after area for advice, with businesses forking out £9.1bn for help with their numbers. This was closely followed by insurance (£5.3bn), IT (£4.1bn), payroll and pensions (£3.3bn), and website building (£3.1bn). Despite the high costs, its suggested that 49% of small businesses avoid hiring external consultants because of over inflated costs, with 36% citing scepticism about their level of expertise as a barrier. Dr David Fraser, business expert and author, said: “Smaller orga... »

Businesses Believe They’ll Weather The Storm, With 91% Confident They’ll Survive The Next 12 Months

Businesses Believe They’ll Weather The Storm, With 91% Confident They’ll Survive The Next 12 Months

UK small business owners are confident they’ll ‘weather the storm’ of economic and political uncertainty, with 91% believing they’ll survive the next 12 months The survey by FreeAgent of 701 firms with fewer than 10 employees, has revealed that while 50% believe the economy will worsen over the next six months – just 3% are planning on downsizing their business. Despite increased unpredictability with the triggering of Article 50 and announcement of a snap election, a mere 1% of respondents believe their business will have failed by this time next year. Taking a more optimistic approach, 10% of those surveyed believe the economy will actually improve in 2017 – while 28% believe it will remain largely the same. Seemingly bullish about Brexit, 64% of small business owners even want to expand... »

Making Tax Digital Causing Half Of All Small Businesses To Lose Money

Making Tax Digital Causing Half Of All Small Businesses To Lose Money

Nearly half of all small businesses have lost money because of Making Tax Digital, according to a report by Pandle. The survey of 1,000 UK small firms has revealed that 49.23% have lost money by making mistakes on the new digital form of self-assessment – despite believing their suitably informed about the process. A government initiative, Making Tax Digital will see the process of self-assessment become fully digitalized by 2020 – meaning all business owners will submit and manage their tax returns online. Making Tax Digital Explained 63% of respondents feel “prepared” for the change – with just 20% unaware of the concept. However, 48.3% of small enterprise owners believe the process of self-assessment will be become more inconvenient once its digitalized – with 13% concerned they won’t b... »

99% Of Senior Finance Executives Say Their Business Will Increase Spending Next Year

99% Of Senior Finance Executives Say Their Business Will Increase Spending Next Year

99% of senior finance executives say their business will increase spending and investment over the next 12 months, according to a survey by American Express. The 2017 Global Business and Spending Outlook, which surveyed 100 senior finance executives at companies in the UK with annual revenues of $500m or more, revealed that businesses are bullish despite political and economic uncertainty. In order to stay competitive against international competition, respondents are planning to spend more on customer service (67%), technology infrastructure (51%) and recruitment (48%) as a priority. While businesses are also looking to strengthen financial reporting and compliance (37%), production inputs (35%) and advertising, marketing and PR (31%) – as transparency becomes increasingly important for c... »

Bosses Happier Than Their Workers, As Half Of Employees Feel Mental Health Support Is Inadequate

Bosses Happier Than Their Workers, As Half Of Employees Feel Mental Health Support Is Inadequate

A majority of UK business owners are happier than their workers, as employees believe the mental health support they receive in their workplace is inadequate – according to a report by OfficeGenie.co.uk. The Workplace Happiness Report, which surveyed over 2,000 office workers, revealed that bosses rank 4.20/5 in the report’s ‘happiness scale’ – 25% higher than low-level employees. Indeed, junior staff appear to be the unhappiest in their role, coming in at 3.40/5, while the average employee stands at 3.63/5. How To Spot The Signs Of Poor Employee Mental Health At Work Employees being overworked (47%) is cited as the biggest cause of stress by those surveyed, followed by a lack of control over the role (25%), and not feeling fulfilled (25%) – with junior staff particularly falling victim to... »

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