Will AI change everything for UK SMEs?

Many believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will foster the fourth Industrial Revolution as it transforms how we live and work.

In the British business world, we are looking ahead to a future driven and controlled by AI. This could very well be the keystone of the next industrial revolution, but how many employers are ready for it and how can UK SMEs utilise it to push forward?

Driving innovation

A recent study has shown the current understanding of and predictions for AI by decision makers. It showed that 45% of IT decision makers are certain that AI will be behind the biggest innovations over the next few years.

This is unsurprising, when we consider the vast scope of artificially intelligent technology. Every generation sees the advent of a disruptive technology that changes everything, and for our generation this could very well be AI.

The survey considered whether UK businesses are fully embracing the possibilities AI brings, in order to increase productivity. Respondents said that AI is more important to the future than other buzzword technologies, such as VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality), which came in at 16%. Slightly more (24%) consider the internet as equally important, but AI is the clear favourite.

This is likely to be, in part, because it’s easier to directly link AI to increased services and productivity, while AR and VR usage remains less clear. They also need specific devices in order to use them, while AI can be absorbed into current devices more easily.

How will AI help UK SMEs?

Financial experts expect that the technology will allow British businesses to save trillions of pounds. This is due to the massive time and manpower savings that AI can herald.

Businesses in the UK spend on average 120 days a year on administration. This has a huge impact on productivity.  Artificial Intelligence takes the burden of mundane back-office administration tasks such as logging expenses and analysing data, allowing people in the business to focus on what matters.

It is potentially a great opportunity for small businesses, particularly when starting out, as many find it difficult to dedicate the necessary hours to the day-to-day administrative duties necessary. With small numbers of employees, it is all too easy to allow important but repetitive tasks to go undone, leading to problems in the future.

How prepared are businesses in the UK?

The immense possibilities for UK SMEs provided by AI are indisputable, but many survey respondents reported that they didn’t think their employers were ready to take advantage of this.

More than 55% said that they considered that their employer is underprepared for AI and its possibilities. Just 19% felt their employers were ready and able to utilise the technology.

When it comes to larger businesses, just 10% feel that their employer is ‘completely ready’ for AI, according to the results of the poll. These numbers clearly show that employees are aware of the possibilities, yet businesses are being left behind.

It’s already here

While many feel underprepared, other businesses in the UK are already seeing the positive effects of AI. This is particularly the case in the financial sector as this type of industry is already strongly implementing AI.

Other sectors are also heavily utilising the technology. For example, Ordnance Survey have utilised machine learning to train a machine model to correctly identify types of roofs. This has freed up the workforce to concentrate their skills on more complicated problems.

James Turner, managing director of Turner Little Limited (turnerlittle.com) said “Ambitious SMEs in the UK must learn from other industries. It’s important for small businesses to understand how other sectors and businesses are using AI, and to implement it themselves. If they miss this crucial opportunity, they could find larger businesses are more flexible than them, thereby losing a traditional SME advantage.

“If businesses don’t quickly grasp the vast opportunities afforded by AI, then they could face losing talented employees who move to businesses who are more forward thinking. To embrace these kinds of changes, it’s important to invest in developing skills and keeping one step ahead of technological possibilities. This is true for SME owners and their employees. Technology moves fast, and if you don’t harness it, you could get left behind.”

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction/repair, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

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How late a payment culture adversely affects SMEs

One of the biggest problems faced by UK SMEs is the culture of late payment that is endemic in our business world. Not only are late payments undermining the growth opportunities for small businesses, but it’s also affecting the value that they could bring to the UK’s economy.

Late payment from customers is a problem that has been around for many years, and unfortunately research shows that it’s still far from being eradicated. It is estimated that 62% of invoices issued by SMEs in the UK in 2017 were paid late. This equates to a figure of £21 billion and was up from 60% recorded in 2016.

Cash is king

Cashflow is all important, but particularly for small and medium sized enterprises. Without it, even the most innovative and exciting business can fail if they don’t receive the payments they’re owed. Without a steady flow of ready cash to deal with unexpected expenses, businesses can quickly go under. And one of the most important aspects of maintaining workable cashflow is being paid on time.

It’s no surprise that SMEs are at their most vulnerable when they are just starting out, and too many missed or late payments can scupper their chances before they even get started.

The average value of the invoices that went unpaid, according to the survey mentioned earlier, was £51,826. A third of invoices settled late took longer than a fortnight from the cut off date agreed, with some taking up to six months to be paid.

SMEs are most vulnerable

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) published a report in 2016 that cites the urgency with which the Government must tackle late payers. They found that part of the reason why there is such a problem is ‘supply chain bullying’. Payment terms for larger businesses often include ‘unfair contract terms’, which has an impact on small firms.

Late payment costs small businesses in the UK about £2.5 billion every year. Official figures from the FSB report show that a third of payments to SMEs are late, with an average payment value at £6,142. All of which means around 20% of small businesses facing cashflow problems specifically because of late payments.

Bleak as this sounds, the encouraging part is that the Government is doing something about the problem of late payments by standing up for small businesses. For example, at the end of 2017, Business Secretary Greg Clark announced a newly created role of Small Business Commissioner.

The role was introduced to ensure that fair payment practices are followed for the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses and was taken by Paul Uppal. It also offers support in resolving late payment problems with larger companies and is working to bring about substantial changes in payment practices across all business sectors.

James Turner, managing director of Turner Little Limited (turnerlittle.com) said: “There are still millions owed to small businesses in the UK across many different sectors. This is obviously a massive problem for SMEs, particularly when they’re attempting to get off the ground. It’s hoped that the Government will continue pushing back against the endemic culture of late payment, particularly from larger companies.

“Cashflow is the heart of industry, and small businesses can’t survive, grow and thrive without it. The importance of SMEs for the UK economy can’t be underestimated, particularly as we head towards leaving the EU next year. The Government needs to take more steps to support small businesses as we move forward.”

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and Offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

Searching for the UK’s Female Entrepreneurs

According to top Industry research the UK is one of the best countries in the world to launch a business. However, research shows that women are only half as likely to start a business as men. So, why are fewer women launching start-ups in the UK? Figures about the number of female entrepreneurs in the UK has led the Government to launch an investigation into the issue of women in business. The review was unveiled on 21 September with banker Alison Rose commissioned to make recommendations about how more women can be encouraged to start their own businesses.

Entrepreneurs strengthening small businesses

In a press release following the announcement of the initiative, Alison Rose said: “If we want to strengthen the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business, then no-one can be left behind. Unfortunately, statistics show that women make up only a third of all entrepreneurs in the UK.”

The Government’s plan is to better understand the reasons for the lack of women start-up owners, and then provide realistic and useful support to this demographic.

Breaking cultural barriers

There is evidence to show fewer women are starting their own businesses, according to the Government. They cite a survey undertaken by Unilever Foundry, which shows that women don’t feel as supported as men in entrepreneurship and aren’t encouraged in the same way to start businesses.

It discovered that many women who started their own business were routinely fighting cultural stereotypes to overcome other people’s expectations. They also pointed out the lack of impressive female role models in the business sector.

Popular culture

There is also a school of thought that the portrayal of entrepreneurs in popular culture almost exclusively focuses on old-fashioned ideas. For example, The Apprentice portrays entrepreneurs as stuck in macho, throwback stereotypes.

Another problem routinely faced by women is the need to work harder in the face of other people’s prejudices. Decision-makers in sectors including banking, finance and venture capitalism are usually men, and are less likely to invest in female entrepreneurs. The Daily Telegraph published a survey recently that showed two-thirds of the 750 women interviewed felt that they hadn’t been taken seriously by investors when trying to raise money for their businesses.

Men are 86% more effective in securing venture capital funding than women, according to the survey, which also showed that men are 56% more likely to secure backing from an angel investor. Women also tend to secure fewer and smaller bank loans for business, and they are charged more. Just 9% of the start-up funding in the UK reaches businesses run by women.

Government initiative

At the launch of the initiative, Robert Jenrick, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury said: “The fact that Britain is home to so many new, innovative businesses is something to be proud of. But the fact that so few of them are started by women is shocking. Therefore, it’s vital that we identify the barriers that are hampering entrepreneurial women from securing the backing that businessmen have taken for granted.”

The review will examine new ways to help to start a business by looking at:

  • the causes of the disparity between make and female entrepreneurship.
  • the kinds of actions that could be taken to reduce barriers to women starting businesses.
  • the disparities between businesses led by men and women when seeking external financing.
  • best practice examples that could be adopted by financial service firms and investors looking to avoid gender bias when considering investment options.

This is all part of the Government’s ongoing work to increase diversity in business and build a country in which small businesses can thrive. The results will be published in spring 2019.

James Turner, managing director of Turner Little Limited (turnerlittle.com) said: “All of this evidence shows that the Government has its work cut out in tackling these problems. There is a significant pool of talent that remains untapped and underutilised because women don’t have the same opportunities as men, according to the information shown in the research.

“The UK should encourage women in their entrepreneurial aspirations in the same way that men are encouraged and supported. If more steps aren’t taken then, as a country, we can’t be surprised at the lack of women entrepreneurs. It’s extremely encouraging that the Government is taking the issue of gender-bias in entrepreneurship and small businesses in the UK seriously. It will be interesting to hear the results of the initiative and discover the steps the Government plans to take next year.”

About Turner Little

Founded in 1998 in Yorkshire, UK, Turner Little is a specialist UK and offshore company formation, banking and corporate services provider. Our services include company formation, UK and offshore banking, asset protection, credit correction, trademarking and trusts. Other services include Internet services, mail forwarding, wills and probate. Turner Little’s vision is to offer the best possible service, together with market leading products.

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Self Employment – Where to start.

Self Employment in the UK continues to soar. As of the end of the quarter to July 2018, a record 4.6 million Britons worked for themselves, indicating that this is becoming an increasingly popular employment option. Turner Little discusses the key considerations when choosing self employment.

Find work during Self Employment

Look at how you will find the work needed to maintain a steady cash flow when you choose self employment. It is key that you ensure that both your CV and work portfolio are up-to-date and correctly formatted, so you can market your services to clients effectively. Contact recruitment agencies to ensure a swathe of potential clients are aware of your skills and availability.

Also make sure you build and maintain a steady list of business contact via sites such as LinkedIn. This will allow you to establish the contact network necessary to source new business. It is also vital that you establish a strong digital presence, so that new clients can find your business when searching for your industry online. Make sure you create an effective website, as well as engaging social media profiles and blogs, to ensure you can promote your services effectively online.

Determine the right model

Next, you will need to determine which business model you should adopt during self employment. This will depend on the work you are conducting, how much responsibility you wish to undertake and how much you wish to get paid. There are three types of business creation models to consider; establishing a limited company, utilising an umbrella company and setting up as a sole trader.

If you wish to maximise take home pay, establishing a limited company is the most effective way of doing so. You will need to register your limited company with Companies House, as well as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for corporation tax and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) purposes. You will be required to submit your annual accounts to Companies House so they are available for inspection. There are a number of administrative duties attached to limited company directorship. Turner Little provides the miscellaneous corporate services necessary to help you handle these responsibilities.

There are fewer duties attached to working with an umbrella company. Acting essentially as your employer, they will contract your services to clients, raise invoices and collect payment, passing revenue on to you through the PAYE system. After subtracting tax and national insurance from your pay, an umbrella firm will deduct their fee, which is based on your earnings. With this option, you can also claim expenses e.g. for travel and deduct them from your gross income, so you pay less tax.

Sole tradership comes with less administrative duties than forming a limited company. However, you are responsible for paying your business’ taxes and national insurance, so you will need to keep records of expenditure and income so you can submit an annual tax return to HMRC. There is one major downside to sole tradership. You will be personally liable for your firm’s debts and bills, so with this option you could put your own assets e.g. your home, at risk.

Get a bank account

Whichever business creation model you adopt, it is essential that you invest in the financial infrastructure necessary to handle your firm’s monetary obligations. The legal process of setting up your own company can require a business bank account. Turner Little can advise you on UK bank accounts, ensuring you have the financial infrastructure necessary to launch yourself into the world of self employment.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

Why Should You Hire Company Formation Agents?

If you are looking to set up a new business, you can reap various benefits by forming a limited company. Should you pursue this option, it is advisable that you utilise the services of limited company formation agents, such as Turner Little, to ensure that your business can become a success.

Limited company benefits

There are a range of advantages, to setting up a limited company instead of becoming a sole trader. This model imbues your firm with a sense of professionalism, due to the prestigious reputation of limited companies. This can you make your company a more attractive partner to bigger firms later on – some firms will not even consider partnering with sole traders, increasing your ability to generate business.

As a limited company, you will also receive an extra measure of financial protection. This means that you will not be personally liable, if your firm incurs losses. Also you can utilise tax efficiencies as a limited company, reducing outgoings. For example, you can benefit from low corporation tax rates, and you can reduce corporation tax further by utilising benefits such as capital allowances.

Experienced hands

But if you wish to fully take advantage of these benefits, it’s advisable to hire limited company formation agents when launching your new business. This is primarily because limited company formation agents have years of experience in this area. You will be able to draw on their considerable experience, to ensure your business is created as quickly as possible and in the most appropriate structure thus allowing you to start trading without delay.

You will be required to submit memorandum and articles of association to Companies House, when creating you venture. There are a range of complex asks involved in handling this duty, such as providing various information including your director  and shareholder details and SIC code, as well as a register of ‘People with Significant Control’ of your company. If you hire an experienced agent, they will already be familiar with what this involves, ensuring a smooth company creation process.

Consummate professionals

You will also gain the ability to collaborate with consummate professionals, when hiring company formation agents, delivering exemplary customer service. Agents strive to supply prompt, high quality formation services, so they typically offer complete transparency and respect the advertised prices for their services, keeping your outgoings under control. Your firm will be submitted to Companies House extremely quickly, so within a working day, you should have the documents required to begin trading.

Company formation agents also have a reputation for reliability. Many are intimately familiar with the market, due to their considerable experience, so if you have an issue, you will be able to go to them and see it resolved within hours. You will ultimately be provided with accurate, efficient company formation services, when pursuing this option, which will be tailored to your specifications. This will ensure that your business can enter the market under favourable conditions, setting it up for success.

Choosing company formation agents 

If you wish to hire a company formation agent, when setting up a limited company, how can you find the right agent for your circumstances? It pays to shop around, looking at various agents’ experience, reputation for excellence and competitiveness on price. You will find all of this if you choose to utilise Turner Little’s limited company formation services, allowing you to work with agents who have over twenty years’ worth of experience, when it comes to creating ventures, giving your firm the best start.

You will find a comprehensive range of affordable limited company formation services with Turner Little. Our most popular option is the 3 Star package, which costs just £109.09. This includes various services, from free Companies House filing and free lifetime company support, to the provision of a fully completed hard bound copy of your company register and free introduction to a UK Bank for a corporate bank account with £50.00 Cashback* (*subject to terms and conditions) on successful opening of the company’s bank account. If you choose Turner Little as your company formation agent, you will gain the first rate service needed to establish a thriving enterprise.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

What Are The Benefits of Becoming a Home-Based Franchisee?

If you want to leave the rat race behind, and start a business from home, you may want to become a franchise instead of going it alone. You can reap various advantages by pursuing this strategy, allowing you to build up a successful enterprise. Here are the benefits of becoming a home-based franchisee.

Choose hours to suit you

It can be hard to fulfil all of your personal obligations, such as looking after your children, when you are working in an office from 9am to 5pm. If you become a home-based franchisee, you choose which hours you work, allowing you to tailor your schedule to suit you, and giving you more time to live your life. By making your working schedule more flexible, you could strike a better work/life balance.

Cut out the commute

If you operate your business from an office, you will have to commute every day. The average commute for a British employee is a significant 75 minutes per day, leaving you with less time to devote to your personal life, as well as to making your business a success. However if you become a home-based franchisee, you cut out the commute entirely, so you can maximise your time.

Slash your outgoings

When running your firm from an office, you will have to pay for office space. However, if you establish yourself as a home-based franchise, you can cut this significant business cost entirely, allowing you to turn a profit quicker. Also you will be able to build a more flexible business, as you can hire more or less staff as your circumstances demand, but you will be restricted by your office’s capacity otherwise.

Reduce business risk

There is always an element of risk to starting a business, so you need to reduce this wherever possible, to increase you likelihood of success. One effective way is to operate your company from home, as your house is easier and cheaper to maintain than a separate business space, so you will require less investment to launch. Also it is easier to expand or decrease your workload as demand requires, as you do not have to meet office space overheads, reducing the risk of a cash flow crisis for your firm.

Specifically becoming a home-based franchisee can give you a way to reduce risk further. As a franchisee, you will enter an agreement with an existing firm (the franchisor), to sell their products and services under their brand. You will be able to capitalise on their reputation, allowing you to create an instant customer base for your fledgling venture, so you can build up revenue as soon as possible. By establishing a stable source of revenue, you will lower the risk of a cash flow crisis for your firm.

Seek expert guidance

There are various considerations, however, that you should take into account, before signing a franchise deal, so you can set up a lucrative business. You need to choose the right kind of franchise agreement for your circumstances, and ensure the contract’s terms are favourable for you, and these matters can be complex, so it pays to enlist expert guidance before signing a franchise contract. We can help here – as part of our corporate services, Turner Little provides a business and legal advice service retainer, giving you the guidance you need to become a successful home-based franchisee.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

How to Set Up a Business When You Are Retired

You are never too old to set up your own business, giving you the income you need to live comfortably throughout your golden years. If you want to become you own boss read on, as the experts here at Turner Little explain how to set up a business when you are retired.

Business benefits

There are a range of reasons why now is the time to set up a business. If you become your own boss, you can increase your retirement fund and pursue your passions, increasing your quality of life. Also, it can be hard to find new employment opportunities in your later years, as employers can be hesitant to hire people in their 50’s and 60’s.  If you are your own boss, this will not be an issue.

Find start-up capital

If you like this idea, the first thing you need to do is find start-up capital. As an older entrepreneur, you could utilise pension freedoms to remove a lump-sum from your pension pot, to bankroll operations. Alternatively, you could turn to alternative funding sources, such as crowdfunding websites, where you gather financing from a large pool of small investors, to get the ball rolling.

Strengths and weaknesses

It is key that you play to your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses, if you want to succeed as a silver start-up creator. Your main strength is that during the course of your distinguished career, you will have built up a list of contacts, who you can draw upon to help you set up your company and connect with your desired customer base. You have also had a lifetime to learn what you are good at, so as an older entrepreneur, it will be easy for you to determine how best to develop a profitable firm.

Your knowledge of your professional skills could also help you identify your weaknesses, showing you where you should enlist expert help, to ensure success. If you lack the ability to draw, for example, hire someone to create your company logo, instead of attempting to do so yourself. One area where many budding entrepreneurs struggle is cash flow management, so it is wise to hire an accountant, who can also act as a business advisor, and help you lay down the foundations for your business model.

Utilise your assets

You may have assets which you can utilise to get your company up and running. It is a good idea to get in touch with any contacts who will be willing to give you ‘mate’s rates’ on essential start-up tasks, such as product distribution, so you can streamline costs. Also if you have a large family, you may want to get them on board too, as the younger generation are experts in digital technologies such as social media, so with their help you can establish a presence online and connect with your consumers.

Write a plan

The successful entrepreneur is one who sets clear goals, so their company becomes operational as soon as possible. Write a business plan, so you can establish realistic targets when you set up a business.  You can plan milestones for your fledgling company, allowing you to launch easily, and detail issues such as your staffing policy and long-term goals, so you can become successful. A sound business plan can also help you attract start-up capital, as it shows investors why their funds will be safe if they take a chance on your firm.

Turn to the experts

Before you compose your business plan, decide which business creation model you wish to adopt, so you can launch your enterprise effectively. It can be wise, as an older entrepreneur looking to set up a business, to form a limited company, as this lends a measure of security to your personal finances, so if your firm encounters difficulties, you will still be able to live out your retirement in peace. As experts, Turner Little can provide the limited company formation services you require to get your firm off the ground.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

Social Media Is Key To Launching A Successful Product

Turner Little discusses new data, which indicates that the majority of marketers believe that social media is the most effective tool available, when it comes to promoting new products to consumers.

Launching products

There are a range of tasks you must complete when launching a new product. You should protect the associated intellectual property, through vehicles such as trademarks, to gain an edge against your market competitors. As specialists in the area, the Turner Little can help you register trademarks.

You also need to market the product to consumers. After conducting market research, you need to determine which platforms you will use to promote your product. Consumers are increasingly engaging with businesses online, so digital channels should form a key component of your firm’s marketing plan. Considering the fact that a third of Britons are influenced by social media engagement every month, you would be advised to use these channels, to reach a vast audience.

Social media marketing

Research found that 74% of respondents believe that social media is key to promoting new products successfully.

When asked about the most notable benefit of social media, 46% cited its potential to spread awareness of a new product among consumers. Meanwhile, just over two thirds (64%) of those questioned admitted that when creating campaigns they utilise social listening, ensuring that they can monitor online conversations surrounding their product, so they can address consumer concerns.

Social media has become the most important way to generate buzz for new products and services before they appear. Shareable content and social engagement allow brands to create a groundswell of pre-launch interest in a way no other channel can match.

Successful launch

The research also shed light on other marketing trends. According to 72% of those polled, the creative ideas behind launch initiatives have become braver over the past five years. Meanwhile, 81% said that since 2011, the time between the conception of a marketing idea and the launch of a product has shortened, with 70% admitting that they can now complete this process within six months.

Social media marketing is popular for launching products because it allows marketers to executive brave ideas quickly, while reaching a vast audience. In order to execute social media marketing effectively, you need to have a strong company website, which consumers can visit from your social profiles to find out more about your firm. Here at Turner Little, we provide the internet services, such as website development, that you need to ensure your social media marketing efforts prove lucrative.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

Brexit Destined to Bring Big Benefits to UK’s Entrepreneurs

It is rapidly becoming apparent that Brexit is changing the business landscape for the UK’s aspiring entrepreneurs. New research recently confirmed this, as almost half of the Britons surveyed said they believe that entrepreneurs will be the biggest winners of Brexit as the UK leaves the EU.

Favourable climate

The UK is one of the best places to start a business. It has a massive economy, a business-friendly regulatory climate, consumer-hungry markets, highly developed business, transport and digital infrastructure, and lucrative trading relationships with everyone from the US to China, so if you set up a business in the UK, you have the favourable operating environment you need to succeed.

It is an especially great time to create a business in the UK, as Brexit could bring you benefits as a budding entrepreneur. The UK’s decision to leave the EU, for example, will free Whitehall from the requirement to comply with restrictive European business regulations, so the government is free to implement new rules e.g. cutting corporation tax, which will help you establish a thriving enterprise.

Biggest winners

It seems as though the UK public understand just how advantageous Brexit could prove for would-be business owners. In a new poll from Asset Match, an online platform for buying and selling company shares, nearly half (49%) of the 2,000 UK adults questioned admitted that entrepreneurs will be the “champions of the UK’s post-Brexit economy,” as they will have a more favourable trading landscape.

One major reason that this view was popular among the survey’s respondents, was that Brexit could open up new exporting opportunities for UK-based entrepreneurs. Over half (53%) of people argued that Brexit will bring this about, with this number increasing to 65% for those aged 55+. Also 43% and 34% respectively said that Brexit will benefit businesses and scaling companies more than anyone else.

Best of British

The study also indicated that Brexit could be set to bring greater domestic business opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. Half of those polled – equating to 25 million people, admitted that they are going to “do their bit” by buying British during the two year period where the Brexit agreement will be negotiated with the EU. Meanwhile, 46% of respondents argued that the UK will emerge from these negotiations in a stronger economic position, benefiting new business owners even further.

Commenting on these momentous results, Asset Match’s CEO Stuart Lucas said: “The data has revealed that society deems last year’s referendum result as a Brexit for business, with the significant majority confident in the path Brexit will forge for private sector prosperity. During this vital time of transition, it will come as welcome news for any British company or brand that consumers are rallying behind them at a time where consumer support could not be more important.”

Start a business

We can argue therefore, that if you choose to set up your company in post-Brexit Britain, you will be able to generate business domestically and internationally, making now a great time for you to take the plunge and become your own boss. If you choose to take advantage of the post-Brexit climate, it is key you adopt the right business model, so you have the infrastructure needed to trade effectively.

It may be wise to form a limited company instead of becoming a sole trader, as the former option affords your personal finances a greater degree of protection, should your firm encounter choppy financial waters later down the line. As experts in these matters, Turner Little can offer you the support you require to form a limited company in the UK, setting you up to build a successful firm in the aftermath of Brexit.

Turner Little

Turner Little was founded in 1998 and it has since become a well-established UK based professional Company Registration Agent, Registered Bank Intermediaries and Business Consultants, as well as Trust provider. You can receive our monthly newsletter by signing up using the form below.

Business plans are key to entrepreneurial success

New research from the University of Edinburgh Business school and RWTH Aachen University shows that entrepreneurs who write early stage business plans are 16% more likely to succeed.

The report examined more than 1,000 start-ups and the progress made over a six-year period. Conclusions show that entrepreneurs focused on high growth were significantly (7%) more likely to commit their vision to paper early on than their peers.

Early stage business plans are essential for success and start-ups that are successful in their quest to secure funding are more likely to plan ahead.

Business plans help secure investment

Entrepreneurs looking for finance from external sources were 19% more likely to write a detailed, specific business plan at the earliest possible stage. The report also showed that start-ups with disruptive and innovative ideas are 4% more likely to plan carefully for the future.

The study was published recently in the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, and the overall conclusion is that a business plan is vital for the successful development of a start-up. This is particularly important with businesses that face significant and ongoing challenges on their path to growth.

What makes a good business plan?

A strong business plan clearly outlines the structure of the start-up. It also explains the product or service offered, the market it’s entering, the customer it wants to attract, the potential for the company’s growth and the financial background.

Business plans should not only outline the plans, but also act as a motivator towards success. A comprehensive plan allows entrepreneurs to define and refine their strategy, making them more likely to reach their goals.

Professor Green, Edinburgh University says: “Writing a plan can make all the difference when it comes to making a start-up profitable.”

Improvisation not advisable

It is sometimes assumed that the most successful entrepreneurs work best ‘off the cuff’ and improvise their winning ideas, rather than spend time on something that can be perceived as routine. However, improvising as you go is more likely to lead to failure.

A business plan establishes robust ideas and steps to take to capitalise on opportunities that develop along the way. It’s important to be honest and specify what success will look like, and the resources needed to achieve it.

A professional, detailed early stage business plan will show legitimacy and build confidence for potential investors. It’s also reassuring for shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and all other key stakeholders.

If you want to grow your business quickly, raise money and work towards your future success, then you need a business plan.

The Highest “Death Rate” in Business, REVEALED

Per the Business Demography release, published by ONS in November 2017, there were approximately 2.85 million active businesses in the UK in 2016; an increase of 135,000 on 2015.

The research details the number of business births continued to increase from 383,000 to 414,000 between 2015-16, a birth rate of 14.6%.

“Birth rate” definition: New business registrations are referred to as business births. The birth rate is calculated using the number of births as a proportion of the active enterprises.

In 2016, the highest rate of business births continued to occur in business administration and support, at 23.1%, compared with a rate of 20.4% in 2015. The second-highest rate occurred in transport and storage, at 23%, compared with 20.3% in 2015.

London had the highest business birth rate, at 17.5% – followed by the East (15.8%) and West Midlands (15.5%.) Northern Ireland has the lowest birth rate, at 10.2%.

Image Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

Since 2011, the rate of business births has continued to exceed the rate of deaths and the gap in rates has continued to widen in recent years – until 2016. This may reflect the uncertainty around the economic outlook towards the end of 2016, following the UK’s EU referendum’s results.

Indeed, the number of UK business deaths also increased from 283,000 to 328,000 between 2015-16, a death rate of 11.6%.

“Death rate” definition: Businesses that have ceased to trade are referred to as business deaths. The death rate is calculated using the number of deaths as a proportion of the active enterprises.

The highest business death rate, at 17% is seen in finance and insurance, compared with 13.3% in 2015. Followed by business administration and support, at 15.4% – compared with 10.1% in 2015. Turnerlittle.com sought to identify the top 10 businesses with the highest death rates:

From the infographic created by Turner Little, we can see that whilst finance and insurance (17%), business administration and support (15.4%) and property (15.2%) hold the top 3 highest death rates, exceedingly low death rates can be found in transport and storage (10.9%), production (20.8%) and retail (10.5%.)

The region with the highest business death rate was London, at 14%, followed by Scotland at 11.8%. Northern Ireland had the lowest death rate, at 9.2%.

Furthermore, it was found the UK five-year survival rate for business born in 2011 and still active in 2016 was 44.1%. By region, the highest five-year survival rate was seen in the South West, at 47%, while the lowest was in London, at 41.7%.

By broad industry, some notably high five-year survival rates include health, with a survival rate of 54.1% and property, with a survival rate of 51.1%.  Accommodation and food services had the lowest, with only 34.6% of businesses surviving for five years.

Image Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Certainly, in the creation of new business, no matter the industry, there is huge risk. Entrepeneur.com highlights risk to be accredited to 5 key areas:

  1. Product Risk

If you can’t explain what you sell, why you’re selling it and why people should invest – you won’t secure interest and sales.

  1. Market Risk

Knowing your customer and why, how and where they buy related products is arguably the most important risk factor to assess before launching a product.

  1. Financial Risk

Make sure to identify key business milestones and schedules that clearly identify the points in time when equity or debt investments are necessary to reach the next major milestone.

If you can articulate your business plan, growth path and reach each milestone successfully, this builds confidence in potential investors.

  1. Team Risk

Invest in people who believe in your company and instil a sense of confidence that they can help get your company across the finish line – and maintain it.

  1. Execution Risk

Many entrepreneurs can become so mired in the details that they completely lose sight of the overall company trajectory and strategy. Participate, evaluate the risks and don’t be afraid to pivot.

Managing director of Turnerlittle.com, James Turner notes:

“It is obviously, incredibly important to evaluate all types of risk when thinking about starting – or investing in – a business. Financial loss can be devastating.

However, the potential for failure should never put you off trying. My advice would be to research, thoroughly, read case studies, speak to people who have both achieved success and faced loss, and always tread with awareness.”

Image Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

Feature Image Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock