Mixed news for the UKs SME owners

28th August 2019.

Two-thirds of businesses fear economy will worsen

Are you, like many SME owners, worried about the economic outlook?

What affect is it having on your customer base?

Sentiment within Britain’s services sector weakened in the three months to August, the CBI has found, with expectations in consumer services companies at their lowest level since 2012.

“The outlook for services firms is bleak at the moment, with Brexit uncertainty holding back investment and expansion plans,” Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist of the CBI, said. “The idea of a no-deal Brexit is clearly weighing down the economy and is affecting businesses both big and small.”

Meanwhile, Brexit, trade wars and a consumer slowdown will lead to economic decline over the next 12 months, according to two-thirds of FTSE 350 company secretaries, a survey has found.

Cyber fear for 60,000 small firms

How safe are your computer systems?

We rely on our websites and internal networks but how safe are they?

SME owners are right to worry about the health and security of there systems from cyber attack.

According to insurance broker Gallagher, 57,000 small companies would be unable to continue trading if they were targeted by cyber criminals who froze their computers until a ransom was paid.

Gallagher said 1.4m SMEs suffered a cyber crisis last year, costing a combined £8.8bn.

How safe are the computer systems of your key customers and suppliers?

The loss of key employees can close a business

Are you vulnerable to the loss of a key member of the team?

Most SME owners are vital to their business, but who else is key?

Yesterday in The Times’ James Hurley looked at the problems faced by small businesses when partners suffer serious illness or die.

A survey by Legal & General found 70% of companies had not considered the possibility of insuring against this risk despite over one in four small businesses in the UK believing that they would have to close immediately if a key person died or became critically ill.

How safe are your customers if something were to happen to them?

Are you affected by the skills shortage?

Do you struggle to find staff with the right skills?

last week we reported that business groups warned staff shortages are becoming more acute

A Lloyds bank survey of 200 of the UK’s largest manufacturers has revealed that 88% suffer from a skills shortage, of which 49% aid the problem was most acute at the management levels of their organisation.

If Large manufacturers are suffering it is even harder for SME owners to find people with the right skills.

When asked about their own investment decisions, employers were more likely to prioritise creating new products than funding training.

Around half of respondents believe further and higher education courses would help, while others called for manufacturing to be included in the national curriculum. It has been suggested that the skills shortage is harming UK productivity.

Do you need to invest more in training?

Why did you start your business?

A poll of SME owners on the reasons they launched their business shows that most wanted to be their own boss rather than someone else’s employee.

The poll also found that 34% wanted to build something from scratch, while 17% set up their business because they saw a gap in the market.

Economy boosted by staycation rise

Are you benefiting from the boost to the hospitality, travel and tourism sectors?

The economy is set to see a £2.1bn boost from staycations over the Bank Holiday weekend, with 8.6m Brits having booked UK-based getaways – the highest number since 2012.

A survey by VisitBritain shows that the number of Britons opting for trips within the UK for the weekend far exceeds the 6.9m who did so in 2017 and the 7.3m who chose a UK holiday last year.

Tourism Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Tourism makes a massive contribution to the UK economy,” with figures showing it is worth £127bn.

Most SME owners have only a fortnight of holiday a year

Are you getting the breaks you deserve/need?

A survey of small businesses has found that 37% of SME owners took no more than 15 days of holiday in the last calendar year – 13 days less than the statutory 28 days offered to those in regular employment.

However, 22% took at least 36 days off per year.

Take a break!

Taking time away from your business can help you recharge your batteries, give you clarity and refresh your outlook and positivity!

The case for staying at work an extra decade – or even more

You may need those holidays as it is predicted that we are all going to have to work a lot longer than previous generations.

On the 19th August we reported that a Think Tank was suggesting raising the state pension age dramatically to boost the economy.

Many SME owners perhaps dream of making enough money to retire early but could owning your own business mean you actually end up working longer?

It seems we may all be working longer than we expected and this will boost the economy.

PwC analysis suggests that if the UK, where 65% of 55- to 64-year-olds are still in work, matched New Zealand’s 78%, it could have added almost 9% to its GDP in 2017.

UK mortgage approvals soaring

Are you or your customers exposed to the housing market?

When houses are bought and sold, money is often spent bringing the property in line with the new owners wishes, boosting many SMEs.

So it will be welcome news that the number of mortgage approvals in Britain rose to its highest level since early 2017, as buyers took advantage of increasingly competitive rates, according to financial services body UK Finance.

Banks approved 43,300 mortgages in July, higher than the 42,800 in June and 10.6% more than in July last year, while remortgaging approvals saw a 15% year-on-year rise to 30,200 in July, the fastest increase since May 2018.

However with a note of caution, Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to EY Item Club, said: “It is possible that mortgage activity is lifted by some people looking to complete before October 31, given the uncertainties surrounding the UK leaving the EU with a deal.”

Do you sell on credit?

With pressures on the cash flow it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

Those customers will look for the easiest option  to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you eventually, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When you customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are extremely passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit.  You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners  who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

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Read our blog – What is credit management?

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see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

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The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections