SMEs Are Optimistic, Despite Skill Shortages

1st February 2018.

High numbers of small business owners are feeling optimistic about the year ahead. According to new research, 80 percent expect growth in their own business within the next twelve months, and a further 69 per cent are optimistic in their future prospects. This highlights how business owners are looking past business woes to see a bigger and brighter picture.

All the staff here at the Credit Protection Association understand the climate is looking rough, with EU negotiations still ongoing and business rates and interest rates on a high; but we encourage our members to keep their eyes on the road ahead. Investing in innovation and new technology can boost your business, and of course keeping an eye on your customers’ financials can help bring that future into focus.

“We are seeing continuing confidence in the UK’s entrepreneurial eco-system,” said Guy Rigby, head of entrepreneurial services at Smith & Williamson.

“However, the lack of skilled workers is an issue that is set to become even more pressing as the UK leaves the EU”, he warns.

The latest quarterly Enterprise Index survey by accountancy group Smith & Williamson has found that only 38 percent of business leaders believe that their workforce is sufficiently trained or educated to help them achieve their growth plans.

And the poll of over 200 business leaders and entrepreneurs also found that 66 percent of businesses are currently seeking new hires.

The survey highlighted the falling confidence in Government, with only 28 percent of those polled saying that policy surrounding private enterprise is supportive. In addition, less than a third believed that the UK economy will improve in the next 12 months.

“Entrepreneurs do not necessarily believe that the Government is working against them but, by continually shooting themselves in the foot, the Government portrays a general picture of ineptitude,” said Rigby.

From losing millions from the Carillion collapse, to suffering at the hands of high business rates, small businesses cannot catch a break. As we illustrated in our previous blog about business sentiment in social media, business optimism is rising. While the skills gap is hurting some, others have embraced apprenticeships and training schemes within their own workforce. The concerns surrounding Brexit and the wider economy are easing, and businesses are refocusing on themselves. Here at the Credit Protection Association we have always encouraged our members’ expansion plans and have freed up cash flow and improved credit accordingly. If any business owners have found their optimism waning and are reeling from skill shortages in their sector, please come to CPA to help your cash flow and get your business booming again!

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!

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