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Smaller Businesses Significantly Less Optimistic About the Future Compared to Larger Businesses

Latest research from Robson Laidler Accountants has found that over the coming 12 months 46% of smaller businesses – those with a turnover of under £250K - are projecting reduced income. Conversely more than 52% of larger businesses – those with a turnover in excess of £1M - are projecting increased income; the figure rises to 67% of businesses with a turnover of more than £5M.

There are some notable differences in outlook by business structure, most notably for those in the charities / non-profit sector which is projecting a much larger reduction in income in the coming 12-months.

The research, which was carried out across the UK in conjunction with the UK200Group, revealed that smaller businesses have been hit more significantly than larger businesses. As well as income projections, smaller businesses are also less likely to be increasing their headcount than larger businesses.

There are some positive indictors arising from the survey. Respondents were asked their top 3 priorities for their business over the next 12 months, the top 3 are: 

  1. Looking after existing clients
  2. Finding new clients
  3. Growth

When asked the same question 6 months ago, businesses were more concerned with survival than growth.

Graham Purvis, Robson Laidler MD commented: “These findings, somewhat unsurprisingly, suggests that larger businesses are more insulated from the negative effects of the pandemic. Smaller firms, with less resources and less of a ‘safety net’, are feeling the effects more severely.  It is encouraging to see that 64% of businesses have reviewed their cashflow – a vital step to take at all times but even more so in these turbulent times.  A concern is the low number of businesses that are undertaking customer surveys.  Keeping close to your customers has never been more important.”

Click here for a full copy of the research findings.

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