small businesses

Late Payment Problems Worsen for UK’s Small Businesses

Late Payment Problems Worsen for UK’s Small Businesses

Bibby Financial Services’ ‘Small and Medium Enterprise Confidence Tracker’ has reported a 9% rise in late payments from Q2 2014 to Q2 2015, with 51% of business owners reporting they wait over 30 days to get paid. Small and medium businesses located in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside were the worst affected last year, however the number of firms suffering from late payments in the North East has also doubled. Construction businesses were the most affected in terms of sector, followed closely by manufacturing and wholesale firms. 55% of small and medium constructions businesses said they currently wait over 30 days for invoices to be paid – up 11% from Q2 2014. The news comes despite attempts by the government to tackle late payments. The new government introduced a Small Busine... »

Over Half of Small Businesses Support Shared Parental Leave

Over Half of Small Businesses Support Shared Parental Leave

Over half (53%) of small and medium-sized business owners consider shared parental leave to be a good thing for their business, according to the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer (CBBB). Of the small firms that support shared maternity leave, 46% believe that it will promote staff loyalty and 31% affirm that the added flexibility is essential to allowing staff to have a work/life balance. However concerns remain among some small business owners, with 27% admitting that they think shared maternity leave will have a negative effect on their business and cause issues – 49% worry it will damage their continuity plans. Furthermore, nearly a fifth (17%) of the 700 small businesses surveyed said they were unaware of their employees’ rights in regards to shared paternal leave. Since A... »

Small Businesses Risk Cyber Fraud

Small Businesses Risk Cyber Fraud

A number of small business owners fail to secure their businesses against cybercrime despite 42% admitting that they have fallen victim to it in the past, research by the Association of Accounting Technicians has revealed today. Of those businesses who have encountered cybercrime, computer viruses were found to be biggest problem with 23% of businesses affected; followed by phishing (where sensitive information is stolen by fraud companies/independents) at 22%, and card fraud at 12%. Despite the high level of cyber fraud incidents, 31% of small and micro businesses have no protection against computer viruses; 34% have no firewall installed and 14% admit to having no cybercrime protection measures at all. Mark Farrar, AAT chief executive, commented on the report: “Keeping online information... »

Small Businesses Fail to Seek Expert Advice

Small Businesses Fail to Seek Expert Advice

Small and medium-sized enterprises continue to seek business advice from family and friends over experts, despite the majority feeling unable to overcome obstacles due to a lack of knowledge. According to research by insurance group Aviva, the top three areas small businesses continue to struggle with are financial bookkeeping (32%), marketing and sales (31%), and understanding employer legal obligations (30%). However the survey– which featured 1,507 small and medium enterprises – found that entrepreneurs continue to look to family and friends instead of experts for these business issues. 38% choose to rely on family or friends and friends, compared to just 13% of business owners who choose to consult g a financial advisor, legal advisor (9%) and insurance provider (6%). The findings sugg... »

A Fifth of Small Businesses Postpone Raising Investment until After Election

A Fifth of Small Businesses Postpone Raising Investment until After Election

Access to finance was named as the main issue small businesses want to see tackled by the post-election government, with 13% of companies stating it was more difficult to secure investment now than it was a year ago, according to the latest quarterly Close Brothers Business Barometer (CBBB). Despite 73% of small business owners planning to seek finance in 2015, a fifth of businesses surveyed admitted that they are delaying investment until after the election due to ambiguity over the business and finance atmosphere under a new government. The top two post-elections concerns named by the CBBB’s respondents was the possibility of the return of a coalition government and an EU referendum, and what these issues would mean for UK enterprise. CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance, David Thomson,... »

350,000 Small Businesses Face Payroll Year End Issues

350,000 Small Businesses Face Payroll Year End Issues

As the April 5 deadline for Payroll Year End (PYE) approaches an estimated 350,000 small and medium sized businesses will experience submission issues, according to new research by accounting software group Sage. The survey, which featured 355 business owners, revealed that 27% of small and mid-sized business owners believe that PYE compliance has been made more confusing due to Auto Enrolment and Real Time Information (RTI) PAYE compliances. This, combined with the record number of start-ups registered last year (581,173), may result in more small businesses being penalised because of incorrect submission, with one in 50 having already faced fines in the past. According to the respondents, problems with PYE submissions could be avoided by using the right software, being organised and thro... »

Can Invoice Financing Unlock Cashflow Hurdles to Growth?

Can Invoice Financing Unlock Cashflow Hurdles to Growth?

Despite an improving economic outlook and predictions that the UK’s growth forecast will continue its upward momentum, cash flow still remains a significant hurdle for many small and medium sized businesses. According to a recent survey 29% of companies say that late payments are causing major problems for their development. In a financial environment where lending to small companies by banks has plunged, despite government schemes designed to increase it, irregular and late payments can only heighten the difficulties that enterprises face as they look at growing their operations. In the worst case scenario, it can cause knock-on problems with paying suppliers, necessitating drawing on emergency reserves and overdrafts. Furthermore money tied up in unpaid invoices is money that can’t be in... »

Less Than Half of Small Businesses Have Formal Business Plan

A quarter of firms have no growth strategy at all in place Less than half (47%) of small businesses have a formal business plan in place, according to the latest research from Barclays, with an additional 25% only having a verbal, informal, plan established. The remaining (23%) of firms don’t have a growth strategy in place at all and only 49% have a succession plan, indicating that whilst small firms are growing (recent updates to the Government Growth Dashboard revealed small and mid-sized business turnover and profit increased in 2014) they could be impeding further progress by not focusing enough on growth plans. The report found that small businesses in the South and the East, who usually perform better than the rest of the country, are more likely to have a business plan in place tha... »

Proposal to Drop Small Business Rates Announced

Local council recommends linking business rates directly to turnover, making it fairer for small and mid-sized businesses trading on high street rather than online The Local Government Association (LGA) has released a proposal to lower business rates for small and mid-sized firms who trade mainly on the high street. Communicating on behalf of local councils, the LGA are concerned that small firms and businesses trading on the high street are being unfairly penalised by business rates; calling upon the government to explore linking rates to turnover and e-commerce to make rates fairer for businesses in local areas. Currently small firms and independent traders can pay significantly more in rates than internet start-ups and e-commerce businesses, regardless of turnover. Councils believe that... »

Nationwide Bus Tour Announced in Aid of Small Business Saturday

Tour starts on November 17 and will promote campaign for UK’s independent businesses The organisers behind Small Business Saturday, the national campaign to celebrate Britain’s independent retailers, have announced that they will be running a UK-wide bus tour to promote the event ahead of Saturday 6 December. Launching on November 17, the tour will begin in Leeds and will travel to 13 destinations including Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham, before arriving at its final destination in Camden on December 4. The second year of the campaign, Small Business Saturday looks to champion small independent businesses across the country and encourages shoppers to show their support by buying goods from local independents on the day. Last year, David Cameron along with senior politicians Ed Miliband... »

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