The signs from the recent Autumn Statement suggest the scene is set for small businesses to prosper, in part due to the boost in bank lending which will create a genuine funding option for entrepreneurs and small businesses in 2015. Intuit Vice President and UK Country Manager, Rich Preece, gives his thoughts on the top five trends for small businesses over the next 12 months.
- The high street will undergo a revolution
In recent years, we’ve seen the revival of the high street, with the number of pop-up shops and restaurants across the country expected to grow by 8.4 per cent over the next 12 months. Movements such as #SmallBizSat are doing a lot to get more shoppers through the doors of local businesses, with some traders reporting takings were up by around a third after this year’s event.
- More British SME will spread their wings
The Government is keen to get more SME selling abroad, as shown by the UKTI’s recent Explore Export Week. Yet SMEs currently account for just 20 per cent of British exports, leaving plenty of opportunity for growth. As we see in the British Chambers of Commerce review, the trend for Q4 2014 export balances are equal to the average 2007 pre-recession levels within manufacturing. If this continues this is a positive trend for 2015.
- SME will have increasing legislation to tackle
While the Government’s auto enrolment regulations were first introduced in 2010, most SME staging dates will take place from 2015 onwards, depending on their size. Despite the impact that this legislation could have on their bottom line, many local businesses remain unaware of how to make themselves compliant, or even what it is.
With so much confusion surrounding the new legislation, accountants and technology providers need to work closely with their small business customers to ensure everything is in place for their staging date and, crucially, to manage it in the future.
- Crowdfunding will become the norm
So far, using crowdfunding as a means of financing businesses has been somewhat of a novelty compared to the traditional approaches such as bank loans, venture capitalists and even credit cards: 2015 will be the year that crowdfunding comes into its own.
- Flexible working will become mainstream
Cloud technologies will continue to facilitate the increasing trend to work virtually and in real time with our colleagues and customers. This makes it easier and more cost effective for SME owners to run their businesses more efficiently. This cloud revolution is extending to how SME manage their finances, with up to half set to adopt cloud-based accounting software by 2016.
We want to know what trends you think will impact small businesses this year. Leave your comments below or tweet us @QuickBooksUK.