small business growth

Almost Third of Small Businesses Think a Business Plan is Irrelevant

Almost Third of Small Businesses Think a Business Plan is Irrelevant

Almost a third (29%) of small and medium sized businesses don’t have a formal business plan with 43% asserting that a plan is not important, according to the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer (CBBB). Of the remaining number of business owners without a plan, 20% say that they prefer to keep an informal plan in their head and 15% believe that, although a plan isnot completely irrelevant, an official business strategy is not a priority. The survey also found that, of the small businesses who have a formal strategy in place, 14% only review their business plan every two to five years. Small businesses could be missing out on opportunities to grow by not having (or failing to review) a formal business plan, with a recent Barclay’s report (also highlighting the number of small firms with... »

Creating New Business is Top Concern for Small Firms

Companies that describe themselves as “highly ambitious” significantly more concerned about business issues Creating new business, legislation changes and keeping existing sales volumes were named as the top worries for small businesses in 2015, according to research by finance group Santander. The top concern among small and medium enterprises is gaining new customers, with 44% of firms saying that they are worried about their ability to generate additional business in 2015, this was followed by apprehensions over red tape (37%) and maintaining sales volume (36%). Other key concerns that emerged from the research, which included the opinions of 800 small and medium enterprises, include cashflow (35%), managing employees (35%) and customer credit risk (28%). The research also revealed that... »

Small Business Efficiency Linked to Increase in Sales

Productivity and adoption of new technology contributes to small business growth Small businesses who prioritise operational efficiency experienced a greater increase in sales with 70% witnessing a growth compared to 50% of ‘unproductive’ firms, according to a report by the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR) and Exact. Of the small and mid-sized companies who believe they operate below the efficiency average, 24% experienced a decrease in sales compared to only 8% of the ‘above average’ firms. In regards to the small and mid-sized businesses who were struggling to be productive, 36% said that a lack of time hindered their ability to make process improvements, with 46% spending between 10 to 20% of their time on non-productive tasks. The report, which featured a... »

5 Ways to Grow Your Small Business

5 Ways to Grow Your Small Business

Small businesses are growing every year and with technological innovations, new finance options and increasing support enabling the development of all types of enterprises; it is essential that you remain on top of these advantages, and focus on expanding and scaling your own small business. Getting your small firm to the next level involves planning and implementing a growth strategy. Here are five things you should consider when trying to facilitate and manage growth in your small businesses. Harness the power of technology Effective use of technology lies at the heart of many successful business growth strategies. Many small and medium-sized companies have been able to use cloud-based technologies to give them capabilities that were previously the preserve of large corporations with big... »

Ineffective Broadband is Hindering Small Business Growth

The Federation of Small Businesses reveals half of the UK’s rural small businesses experience ineffective broadband A survey by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) found that half of the small enterprises located in rural areas are unhappy with their broadband services, with FSB chairman Mike Cherry warning that the issue “threatens the expansion of the £400bn rural economy”. According to the FSB research, only 16% of small firms in the rural UK have access to superfast broadband with 14% of small companies referencing this lack of reliable broadband as the key barrier to their growth. The organisation also fear that the problem will get worse as technological advancements makes online access even more relevant for business success – despite the government’s £1bn initiative to make supe... »

Almost Half of Small Businesses Set to Grow in 2015

68% of small and mid-sized businesses are confident in their ability to raise finance but majority are unaware of full range of funding routes Research from the government’s British Business Bank has revealed 46% of small firms are predicting growth in 2015. The report, which is the first in a series of annual reports, titled the Small Business Finance Markets, surveyed a 1,000 small firms. However, despite positive expansion plans, the majority of businesses were unaware of the finance options available to help them manage this growth. 68% were confident in their ability to get funding; yet only 65% have heard of alternative finance options such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending and an additional 33% were unaware of government and local authority grants. The most recognised forms o... »

Government Called to Introduce Export Tax Breaks for Small Businesses

Forum of Private Business appeals to chancellor George Osborne as National Export Week begins The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has called upon chancellor George Osborne to introduce a tax break scheme to facilitate small businesses trading in overseas markets. Coinciding with the start of National Export Week (NEW), the FPB has stressed that exporting must be made easier for small and mid-sized businesses, with the forum proposing that the government introduce a tax scheme similar to corporation tax’s research and development relief. The FPB, which lists its proposals in its autumn statement submission, suggests reducing an eligible entrepreneur’s tax bill or providing export activity tax credits, which would increase along with the business’ overseas sales. This, the FPB believe, will ... »

‘Micro’ Firms Transforming The UK’s Business Landscape

Proportion of micro businesses rises 43% as amount of high growth firms drops by over 20% The number of ‘micro’ businesses has grown by 43% since 2000, with the UK now boasting 1.4 million companies with less than 10 employees. In contrast, the number of high growth firms has fallen by 20%, with zero-employee companies the fastest growing segment since the recession. The research, conducted by the RSA and titled Growing Pains, considers business owners’ views and public economic data. It found that as micro businesses have been the more dominant form of business, whereas high-growth companies – those achieving on average 20% annual growth in employment for three years – have been struggling. The research found that most mid-sized businesses fail to grow (79.9%) with more becoming small bus... »

Fast-track Planning Process Needed for Small Business Growth

A fast-track process is needed for small-business planning applications, as excessive red tape is restricting economic growth, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said. In an FSB survey of 1,700 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), current planning rules were criticised as overly-complex by more than half of respondents, while 38% of those who had made a planning application said they found the costs much higher than anticipated. A fast-track route for minor works would better enable businesses to grow and expand, according to the business group which said that many small firms only wanted to make minor changes to their premises, such as changing the use of a property or altering the location of doors or windows. The planning system also needed to be simpler and cheaper, it s... »

Small Businesses Growth Prospects Cautious Post Budget

Small businesses are cautious about their prospects following the 2011 Budget, with 55% of small business decision makers expecting their business to ‘stay about the same size’ and 25 per cent predicting their businesses will grow in the next 12 months, according to new research for Safestore, the UK’s largest self-storage company. The research, which assessed 500 small business senior decision makers’ perceptions of the 2011 Budget and the implications for small business, also shows that more needs to be done to help them cut costs. 54% of small businesses surveyed said the measures announced by Chancellor George Osborne will make no difference to their growth prospects and 26% actually think it make things harder for them to grow. When asked to consider the budgetary measures they though... »