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Small Business Concerns for 2017

Jan 19, 2017

What will 2017 bring?

Entering into a new year can be exciting. For many it’s a new start to focus on things that matter to you, whether that’s fitness, life goals or more time with the family. For businesses it can bring a whole different level of excitement – setting new goals and outlining future plans. However some small businesses will be feeling anxious about what the new year holds. 

Brexit 

When the results of the UK’s decision to leave the EU were announced last June, uncertainty swept business owners across the country. It will be months and years until Brexit negotiations are completed, however this doesn’t ease the cause for concern.

Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Business (FSB) said in an interview with the Guardian “Nearly a quarter of FSB members export, with the majority exporting to the single market. Access to the single market means access to 500 million potential consumers, more than 26m businesses.”

On 17th January 2017, Theresa May announced that the UK will be leaving the single market as part of the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Business owners will be looking carefully over the coming weeks for what this means for them.

Market Uncertainly

Hitachi Capital reported in its British Business Barometer for April – June 2016 that market uncertainly remains one of business owners main concerns.

The company surveyed 1,139 small businesses and found that 33% of business owners were concerned with market fluctuations.  When looking at the results by sector, manufacturing had this as their greatest worry at 42%. 

Rise of costs

Costs are constantly feeling on the rise and with the value of the £ falling this hasn’t eased the tension. Again, in the manufacturing industry the rise of business costs is affecting them greatly. In findings by Bibby Financial Services they found that 29% said this was their biggest challenge. 

Increasing Competition

In the same study they found that 18% said that the increase of competition is a worry for them. Starting your own business has grown in popularity over the recent years and  The Start Up Loans Company recently announced that since January 2016 they have issued over 7,000 loans to entrepreneurs. 

The increase on competition will force business owners to think more carefully about pricing, overheads, strategy and investment going into this year.