What does the next year in business look like for the UK’s SME’s?

2016 has been a particularly interesting year for SME’s, with the EU referendum vote taking place in the UK in June and the resulting BREXIT meaning the next year will undoubtedly be one business leaders and Directors alike await with much anticipation.

According to the recent Hiscox report ‘the DNA of an entrepreneur’, over half of small UK businesses say they predict BREXIT will not have any impact on their operations, but 31% feel BREXIT is a negative prospect.

As those who attended our recent business exhibition in Eastbourne will be aware, former BBC business correspondent Declan Curry discussed BREXIT and its potential impact on Sussex businesses and the wider business community. Declan noted during his insightful keynote speech that it is imperative British businesses seek continual growth and find ways to remain innovative and attractive to overseas markets.

Of course, growth is often reliant on investment and funding, which has meant many SME’s are turning towards less conventional methods of acquiring funding. Access to finance for small and medium enterprises through mainstream financing is sometimes notoriously hard to gain for start – ups and those looking to grow smaller companies.

Despite the generally positive feeling about BREXIT and its implications on finance and operations, 22 % of those who responded to the Hiscox survey felt that bank funding was becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain. This has left one in six utilizing their credit card as a source for financing business endeavours.

Though there is a lack of funding available via more traditional means, start – ups in the Kent, Sussex and Surrey region have been able to invest in their enterprises via other ways of accessing funding. The Let’s Do Business Group, offer start – up loans to entrepreneurs and business growth loans to companies who have been established for 12 months or more, but require funds to further grow and expand their enterprises. The Group have lent over £20m over the last 5 years.

The Hiscox Report found that two thirds of small businesses increase their revenue, which surveyed businesses employing less than 50 staff operating in the UK, US, France, The Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

The Let’s Do Business Group has helped hundreds of businesses grow their offering and introduce new products and services to the marketplace, assisting with growth of the local economy. From coffee shop owners to fashion labels, Let’s Do Business has assisted with funding advice and options to ensure entrepreneurs can make their great ideas a reality. Laura Ansell of TriSwim, a provider of open water venues operating in the South East said ‘I wholeheartedly look forward to seeing what the future brings and that is in no small part down to the faith shown in me by Let’s Do Business Group.’

It isn’t just access to funding that is required by the UK’s SME’s however – the Let’s Do Business Group are regularly approached by those with the ideas to start their own enterprise, but without the knowledge of business operations to start building their company. The team can also assist with other aspects of building an empire – from creating a comprehensive business plan, to mentoring services to ensure young businesses get off to the best possible start.

In addition to this, there was also positive news from the Hiscox Report in terms of employment- something often in the news and of great importance to the economy and local communities. While recruitment has taken a hit in recent months, many smaller businesses have disclosed their intentions to recruit new staff members over the next year.

This is a positive for apprentices and others who will be leaving education or seeking new employment over the coming year, but it raises the question of what employees competing in the current competitive job market can do to make their offering as attractive as possible to SME’s. It goes without saying that obtaining the relevant skills, qualifications and experience help to further job applications, as does seeking training for skills and knowledge gaps.

The Let’s Do Business Group, offer a number of training courses for a variety of notoriously competitive industries, where having the edge makes all the difference – these include hospitality and leadership and management courses.

If you’re a start – up business owner or you already run a small enterprise but are looking for access to finance or help with growing your offering, contact the friendly business specialists for advice and support.