One in five SMEs reveals funding concerns
One in five UK SMEs have revealed funding concerns ahead of Brexit, citing a lack of knowledge regarding potential options as a major barrier to success.
Research from Hiscox found that issues relating to sourcing finance have also impacted on business confidence, as has economic and political uncertainty.
Of 500 businesses surveyed, 38% said they had accessed funding while 36% said a lack of choice was a major challenge when looking to source new finance.
A lack of eligibility and market competition were listed as barriers to finance by 36% and 28% of businesses respectively, while 20% said they were completely unaware of the options available to them.
Despite a range of alternative finance options, the majority of small businesses still turn to banks for assistance – 75% of the firms questioned had used a bank loan at some stage during the last five years.
EU funding and equity funding were also popular choices, despite the rise of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer loan platforms as alternatives.
For a third of businesses, economic uncertainty has been the largest factor limiting growth since 2012 – 18% more of businesses even said that this uncertainty has influenced their growth more than competition from within their own industries.
One in ten firms also believes that a lack of skilled workers could limit their possibilities in the long term.
According to the Institute for Public Policy Research, British employers are spending £6 billion less on training annually than the EU average, which has helped contribute to a lack of skills.
Of course businesses of any size can experience a reversal in fortune and many in such a situation will undertake an independent business review in search of potential solutions.
By taking an unbiased look at a company’s finances, assets and plans, it’s possible to develop a strategy that includes more practical approaches to business.
By Phil Smith