Archive for the ‘Small Businesses’ Category

Small businesses take on more staff

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

According to new government research published recently shows that almost a quarter (24%) of small and medium-sized (SME) employers had more people working for them in 2015 than in 2014.

The Small Business Survey 2015 is based on the views of more than 15,000 SMEs. Starting from this year, the survey will track the same businesses over time to better understand their needs as they grow and develop.

Only 1 in 10 reported a reduction in staff numbers, which is down from around 1 in 5 (21%) in 2010.

Small Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

This survey shines a light on the small businesses that drive our economy and employ millions of people across the country – and its good news that small firms continue to employ more people.

A strong economy underpins the success of our small businesses which is why this government continues to take the difficult decisions needed to keep our economy and businesses strong.

The survey also asked SMEs about their internet usage and found that 95% of employers use the internet for work, 76% have their own website, and 55% have a social media profile.

These results come as the government launches a call for evidence into the barriers businesses face when accessing superfast broadband, which can transform the way modern businesses work together, reach their consumers and target their export markets. This will feed into the wide-ranging business broadband review led jointly by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)and Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), announced in February 2016 by the Business Secretary.

The survey also shows 8 out of 10 (81%) smaller businesses which applied for finance secured all or some of what they asked for, echoing other recent studies that show the continuing improvement in the access to finance landscape. Bank overdrafts were the most commonly sought type of finance, while peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding made up 5%.

Late payment continues to be a problem for almost a third (30%) of SME employers. The government is taking forward a number of measures to tackle this, by establishing a Small Business Commissioner through the Enterprise Act.

While the proportion of businesses experiencing higher turnover is similar to that found in the 2014 survey, medium-sized businesses are actually 3% more likely to report higher turnover than last year.

Want a 20% increase in footfall? Then make way for Small Business Saturday

Friday, December 4th, 2015

The Christmas shopping season is in full swing, and while Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now behind us many small businesses are looking forward to Saturday, and what many consider to be the key shopping event in December. Why? Because its the the third year of ‘Small Business Saturday’.

The Federation of Small Businesses across the UK is a big supporter of this annual event, and this year will be no exception, with December 5 shaping up to be the biggest and best Small Business Saturday yet. Events are being held at high streets the length and breadth of the UK to mark the day.

Small Business Saturday started out in the US some years ago, but since coming to the UK it really seems to have captured the public imagination. Last year across the UK 16.5 million people shopped at small independent businesses on the day, representing a 20% increase in footfall on 2013 or 2.7 million more shoppers. With widespread support for the day 64% of UK consumers were aware of Small Business Saturday last year, a 33% increase on 2013.

That sort of recognition is important. While the big multiple retailers can afford bold Christmas advertising campaigns featuring famous faces, the marketing scope of small businesses is far more modest.

There is something a little magical about our town centres at this time of year. With the Christmas lights twinkling in the crisp winter air there is always something evocative of Christmases past that you simply do not get hunched over a keyboard or at the click-and-collect counter. And if you are after a really special present, something that is different, then it is to the small businesses that you really have to look.

Whether it is a beautiful bespoke bouquet from the local florist or a pair of individually designed cufflinks from an independent jeweller, there are small businesses across the UK able to provide gifts that are beyond the norm. This is also a time of year when customer service comes into its own, and specialist small businesses often have staff with a depth of knowledge that you would be unlikely to come across in the big chains.

Get Involved
So let’s all do our bit to make Small Business Saturday 2015 the best yet. Let’s go down to our local high streets and support the independent businesses that make each high street unique, so that they are there to provide us with good services for many Christmases to come.

Do you have a retail business? Then make sure you help to promote the day and let your customers know that you are taking part. There’s still time to spread the good word, through social media or perhaps an e-shot to your database. You may even want to offer special/discounts and incentives to ensure that you maximise your potential return from the day.

Here for you
At Botting & Co Chartered Certified Accountants we are extremely passionate about supporting local businesses and we work with small and medium sized businesses in Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Arundel, Chichester, Rustington, East Preston, Goring by Sea, Worthing and across West Sussex.

So if you are looking for an accountant you can rely on for your accounts, tax return, payroll or any other accounting service, please contact us today for a free initial meeting to discuss your needs on 01903 713508. We look forward to meeting you.

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