Managing a successful small or medium enterprise is always a challenge, more so in todays uncertain economic environment. Across the UK SME’s are continuously overcoming a number of obstacles; lack of information & advice, cash flow and late payment terms, and one of the biggest difficulties is the ability to access funding. added to the above are the current political and economic uncertainties, following the EU referendum and the recent General Election, the UK is showing mixed signals. The UK growth is slowing as higher inflation takes its toll on consumer spending power. However manufacturing is indeed benefiting from a low pound, with confidence in the industry running at the highest levels in 30 years. All the above indicators show just how much there is to think about when it comes to running a successful small or medium enterprise.
The UK economy depends on the success of its 5.5 million small and medium sized businesses as they help contribute 47% of the total revenue across all UK business, equating to £1.8 trillion a year. The sector has increased rapidly over the years, with figures revealing that SME’s account for 99.9% of the total number of businesses within the private sector. With such a strong influence on the economy, they are also an important employer, with around 15.7million employers working for a private sector SME, which is around 60% of the UK’s total employment.
With regards to the regional breakdown of the SME health check index, The North East and Wales take the two top spots in the regional rankings in the second quarter of 2017 for business success with the North West falling to the bottom of the rankings in the second quarter due to the further decline in lending to SME’s since the opening quarter. One of the largest downward movements in the regional ranking was recorded for Yorkshire and the Humber, falling from second place in Q1 in 2017, into ninth position in Q2.
Despite falling since the previous quarter, SME business confidence remained strong in Q2, therefore adding that the UK economy will start picking up the pace throughout the remainder of 2017. The UK’s future economic success will depend on the strength and general health of our SME businesses, and we should all be coming together to offer our support and expertise to help move our country through unprecedented times.