The life expectancy of the average company is becoming shorter by the year. Last year there were a record number of bankruptcies. This rapid changing of the guard is due to the fact that technology is evolving at an ever faster rate. Recent events have made it obvious that past success is no guarantee of future success. I’ve tried to come up with a story to motivate companies to re-invent themselves.
The skills shortage in the UK is a growing concern, with it now accounting for more than one in five of all vacancies (22%), up from one in six (16%) in 2009. It is also a pressing issue in the technology sector where specialists have been in short supply. A survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) revealed that IT and computing in 2013 became the most in-demand skill area within the UK, moving up from second place.
The Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme (EFG) brought in by the government in 2008 was deemed as a perfect opportunity for small business owners to secure a bank loan, even if they didn’t have the security for regular loans. However, many small businesses and entrepreneurs have found themselves with serious problems due to the scheme being misrepresented by the banks. Vince Cable last week warned the banks to make sure the Business Innovation and Skills processes were being followed and the EFG principles made clear to potential borrowers.
Despite slightly more positive news about the economy, bank lending to small and medium sized business is still in decline. Figures from the Bank of England published in January showed that net lending to businesses fell by £4.3bn between September and November 2013.
The DWP estimates that sickness among working age people costs Britain £100 billion per year. A new report conducted by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of Initial Washroom Hygiene, which surveyed 1000 office workers in the UK, identified that by investing and improving workplace hygiene, it is within employers’ power to reduce this figure by 13%, and in turn save £13.7 billion, equating to around £700 per employee.
When your business faces financial ruin, there will be many factors outside of your control. When this happens, it becomes time to call in the insolvency practitioner. However, bringing in these practitioners too early can actually do you more harm and understanding their role is important when faced with financial problems.
Change is on the horizon for fleets this year. But with change comes the opportunity for companies to improve efficiency, increase savings, enhance employee offerings, and maximise benefits from suppliers. And in the process, we see the expertise of fleet providers being instrumental in helping organisations develop strategic and highly customised solutions to leverage these opportunities in 2014.
One of the most important questions for any business that operates a fleet is whether they should lease or buy their vehicles. It’s a crucial choice and one that requires careful consideration as the wrong decision can end up costing companies a significant sum of money.
Growth is now being experienced in most parts of the economy, with recent statistics showing the UK is growing at its fastest rate since 2007. This naturally brings with it a sense of optimism for future businesses. But we must remember that continued business success isn’t always straightforward. I believe many companies today, which are experiencing an upwards curve following the economic pick-up, can certainly learn from my own business mistakes.
27/07/2012 By Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurs at Smith & Williamson It’s a marathon not a sprint. With the economy still struggling even growing businesses have to focus on short-term survival. Cost-cutting and essential cash management often replace longer-term aspirations, but this is unlikely to create enduring growth or value. Your more immediate goals, as […]
The recent launch of the Business Growth Fund (BGF) could be big and very welcome news for UK entrepreneurs. Many see it as a much-needed return to the availability of long-term growth capital, which hasn’t been seen by an entire generation of entrepreneurs.