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What business owners REALLY want for Christmas

09/12/2019 / Comments 0

What small business owners really want for Christmas

As Christmas approaches many people are excitedly waiting to exchange gifts. But what are you getting the business owners on your list?

Here are a few ideas of what we think business owners might want this year.

Spoiler alert: There’s no socks or smellies in sight. But, if you’re offering, we’ll accept those too.

Business rates reform

Business rates have long been a cause of complaint for businesses, particularly smaller companies or those in the manufacturing and retail sectors.

The tax on non-residential properties has been blamed for contributing to the challenging High Street environment that has led to store closures across the country.

Most business owners simply want a fairer system which will level the playing field and allow them to flourish.

As we approach the General Election many of the political parties have pledged to address the problem.

The Conservatives and Labour have both pledged to review business rates and the Liberal Democrats have said they would scrap them entirely.

It’s unlikely any kind of reform will happen in time for Christmas but maybe business owners will get lucky next year.

Late payment cure

With £23.4 billion late payment debt currently owed to SMEs, according to Bacs Payment Schemes, eradicating late payment is something that most small business owners would like to see happen this Christmas.

Successive governments have introduced new legislation to tackle the problem, but to little avail. In fact, it seems the problem is getting worse as the number of SMEs experiencing overdue payments has hit 54%, marking the highest level since 2015.

Instead, the onus remains on businesses to protect themselves to ensure that they don’t become victim to late payment and the associated cash flow problems.

If you’re experiencing late payment we could help you get paid faster, either by introducing your business to the most suitable cash flow finance solutions or by recommending a specialist in recovering your unpaid invoices quickly and effectively.

A break

Almost one in 10 small business owners across the UK haven’t taken a holiday since at least 2014, according to a survey from Simply Business.

This could be putting their health and wellbeing at risk and shows that a well-needed break is deserved.

The most common barrier cited as preventing them from taking a break was the potential loss of earnings (62%).

Plus, nearly one in five (19%) said they find holidays stressful because they’re not bringing in any money.

Even those who managed to get a break didn’t get to fully switch off.

A whopping 61% said they check emails on holiday, 51% book jobs so they’ve got work when they get back and 11% said they are regularly contacted by employees while they’re away, making it impossible to relax.

This suggests that even though business owners want a break they are unlikely to get one this Christmas.

A clone of themselves

Perhaps many business owners believe that the only way for them to successfully get a break is to clone themselves.

Some business owners struggle with delegation whilst others have no employees to delegate the tasks to.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), in 2019 76% of UK private sector businesses had no employees. Therefore, small business owners are required to outsource or take on all the tasks themselves.

A clone would enable them to successfully complete all the business tasks required without having to pay an outsourced provider. But, human cloning is unlikely to be achieved before Christmas. So, maybe next year?

Brexit answers

Ever since the June 2016 EU referendum, business leaders have been calling on the government to give them clarity about how Brexit will look.

Now, with the General Election approaching, there is increased uncertainty about what might happen or when.

Whilst the Election result will provide some idea of what might happen, it is highly unlikely that businesses will get the answers they desire for Christmas.

Money

With rising business costs and late payment putting pressure on cash flow, it’s not surprising that maintaining a healthy cash flow is one of the biggest concerns for small businesses.

Almost half a million businesses are now in significant financial distress, according to Begbies Traynor.

So, it’s clear that a cash flow boost would be welcome news for many small business owners.

If you require a cash flow boost we could help. As a commercial finance broker, we can introduce the most suitable funding solutions available to your business according to your specific cash flow requirements, whether that’s a quick funding boost or a specialist facility which focuses on improving cash flow by freeing up cash tied up in your sales ledger.

Request a call back here to schedule a call from our funding specialists.

7. A better deal on energy

With rising energy costs causing many businesses to cut jobs and scale back opening hours to make ends meet, perhaps a better deal on energy would be a welcome gift this Christmas.

In fact, more business owners are worried about the rising cost of energy (50%) than they are about Brexit (44%), according to the independent survey commissioned by UTILITA ENERGY.

More than three quarters (77%) of the 1,000 small businesses surveyed have seen the cost of their energy supply rise by at least £100 per year with one in ten (9%) seeing an increase of £500 or more.


So, Santa, if you’re reading, you know what to get the small business owners on your nice list this Christmas.

What would you like to start the New Year with? Let us know in the comments below.

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