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UK businesses must ‘future-proof’ for success

By Lily Hale Thursday, May 2, 2019

UK businesses must ‘future-proof’ for success

New research shows that SMEs are focused on building resilience as a priority. Businesses across the UK are recognising the need to ‘future-proof’ by seeking support and advice to build their business resilience and guard against unforeseen challenges.

This is according to new research from leading SME funding partner Ultimate Finance, which found that more than half (58%) of SMEs have invested in resilience in some form over the last 12 months, while another quarter (25%) are planning on doing so in the next year.

With recently released statistics outlining that the number of company insolvencies has reached the highest level since 2014, increasing in 2018 to 16,090 it’s time for businesses to take action and ensure they are resilient to manage future challenges. The research revealed:

  • 80% feel that a lack of UK economic resilience will have a negative impact on their business, due to Brexit & sluggish growth
  • Nearly half (45%) felt that building their professional resilience was key to their success
  • UK SMEs agreed that product development was the most important area to invest in, for future growth

Questioning 1,000 SMEs across a broad range of sectors, Ultimate Finance, alongside independent research company 3Gem, found that UK small business owners and managers are taking steps to protect their company against challenges such as cashflow problems, employment issues, Brexit and contending against larger competitors.

Steve Noble commented: “We often think of resilience as the ability to bounce back from disaster but that doesn’t cover the whole story. Resilience is also about being prepared and guarding against future challenges as well as having the courage to ask for advice and support when making plans to tackle whatever is potentially on the horizon.

As Brexit looms and the British economy remains on shaky ground, UK SMEs are preparing for the worst while getting on with every day business. Essentially, they are demonstrating the very essence of what it means to be resilient, as they attempt to overcome challenges. Yet they are time poor and often resource light, which can limit their capability to build their resilience in a way that truly safeguards their future. Our aim is to highlight the challenge and provide resources that will be genuinely useful for SMEs up and down the country.”

Prior Ultimate Finance research highlighted how business owners didn’t know who to turn to when they needed support, and this same issue applies to resilience.

To support this, Ultimate Finance is launching a campaign and business hub providing tools, information and support to SMEs looking to build their resilience in key areas of their business, and also offer fast and easy ‘hacks’ to doing business better, take a look at the hub here.