Business Failure Figures Lower than 2010

Strong management and cost-cutting helped reduce the number of UK business failures by 7.9% over the last year, credit management firm Equifax has found. Equifax collated public figures for their January to February 2011 Business Failures report, which found that nearly 8 per cent fewer businesses went under than in the same period last year. The survey included businesses of all sizes, but Equifax said it was representative of how small businesses have fared over the past year. The firm attributed the figures partly to good business management, such as cost control and cashflow management. “There are probably more small businesses practising good credit and cashflow management now than before the recession.” said Equifax external affairs director, Neil Munroe. “Some smal... »

Ecommerce Sales Shows SME Sector Strong in Q4 2010

The quarterly online sales survey conducted by ecommerce specialist Actinic reports a 12% increase in revenue in the three months to 31 December 2010 when compared to the same quarter in 2009. The Q4 2010 Actinic survey of small and medium businesses selling online, also shows that the average number of orders processed by each merchant increased 10% when compared to Q4 2009. Christmas had a positive impact on the average number of orders processed with 13% more in the fourth quarter when compared to Q3 2010. In addition respondents reported their average shopping cart value increased slightly during the period from £67.30 in the fourth quarter 2009 to £68.90 in the same period in 2010. E-tailers reported that the early snow placed extra pressures on their customer service operations as pe... »

Employers Guide to World Cup Launched

A new guide to help employers deal with staff absence during the World Cup has been launched by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The guide, Employment and the FIFA 2010 World Cup, produced in association with Abbey Legal Protection, is split into two categories: how to handle both authorised staff absence and situations where employees may simply fail to turn up to work on match or post-match days. The FSB said it had designed the guide to help employers avoid tricky employment issues arising from unplanned absences during the month-long tournament, which starts on 11 June. “Sorting out these issues before the first game kicks off means everyone can relax and enjoy the matches, while making sure jobs still get done in the workplace,” said Mike Cherry, FSB policy chairm... »

Small Businesses Confident about 2010

Over a quarter (27%) of small business healthier now than this time last year. Over half (59%) predicting better business performance in 2010. Economic recovery and low consumer confidence remain key concerns. Small businesses are weathering the financial storm to head into 2010 in better financial health than this time last year, according to the findings of a study by O2. O2’s Small Business Confidence Index questioned nearly 3,000 small business owners to gauge how the community has responded to the economic climate in 2009. The findings reveal a small business community that has streamlined operations in the last 12 months to capitalise on anticipated economic improvement on 2010. Over a quarter of the business questioned revealed they are now financially stronger than a year ago... »