The biggest challenges facing your business, and how to avoid them
Is it Brexit? The race to find the most innovative technology and best talent? Many external factors will affect your business in this new, uncharted political and economic territory, the uncertainty of which is causing market apprehension across the world.
Many SME owners would also agree the pressing concern affecting their growth is competition from emerging markets, unpredictable demand and cash flow problems.
We examine the results of a YouGov survey, commissioned by The Telegraph, that aimed to discover the biggest challenges facing small businesses today.
Concern #1: Businesses are wary of Brexit uncertainty
• 39% of SMEs think that leaving the EU will leave them worse off
There is definite concerns about the impact Brexit will have on small businesses, with over a third of decision makers fearing a negative effect. However, it is encouraging that a majority of small business owners believe that there will be either no effect, or that Brexit may actually have a positive outcome for their business.
Different industries have different expectations, with manufacturing believing they’ll be worst off, followed by retail and hospitality.
What is the answer?
If you’re concerned about being worse off after Brexit, the best solution is to make sure your business is in the best position going forward. Taking the time to review your current processes and suppliers now can save you from unwanted surprises down the line.
Different funding solutions can help you get your finances in order and improve your cash flow. If you’re interested in discussing your funding options, we can help. Get in touch with our funding consultants to talk about which solution could benefit you.
Concern #2: Accessing top talent
• 33% of businesses find it difficult to recruit, compared to 25% who find it easy
With only SME’s based in London reporting a higher percentage of companies that find it easy to recruit , its clear that there’s an uneven distribution of talent available to small businesses. For those who are based in the east, Scotland and the Midlands, they are almost twice as likely to find it difficult to recruit.
What is the answer?
Although wider schemes to tackle this problem, such as investment into transport infrastructure, will be key, small business can take steps to improve their situation. By putting plans in place to retain the talent they already have, they are less likely to be affected by the burden of recruitment.
Employee benefits, progression plans and a good company culture with social activities are all good ways to retain talent that organisations of any size can implement.
Concern #3: Ongoing access to support
• 43% of respondents flagged interest rates and fee tariffs as a reason to switch finance provider
When it comes to banking and finance, SMEs want to find and stay with a provider who will offer them the best rates and the best service overall. Having access to the right banking and funding is essential to small business growth and sustainability.
Secure the future
In an ideal world, investment grows on trees and goods are exchanged at the same time as money. However by now, we are all aware we do not live in an ideal world, but that’s okay! The solutions mentioned above could help you to access the finance that’s required to keep your business moving forward.
When it comes to investing capital, most UK SMEs would invest in long-term business objectives, such as new technology, equipment, existing obligations, workforce and expansion to new markets. This is true of your supplier, your supplier’s supplier, your supplier’s supplier’s supplier, and so on – yet this is only possible with the right foundations in place, and that means a strong cash flow.
Need some reassurance concerning your cash flow management? We are proud to have helped many SMEs achieve their long-term goals by securing investment, and are looking forward to helping more. Find out more about our financial services to maximise your cash flow by calling 0800 9774833 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.