Deregulation tops small firms’ priority list

Friday, July 10, 2015

More than half of small business owners want the new Conservative government to prioritise reducing regulation, a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed.

The poll of more than 2,300 FSB members found that 53% believe that regulation is the biggest issue to tackle in the next 5 years.

The top 5 issues identified by small businesses are:
  • ŸŸreduction of red tape (53%)
  • ŸŸsimplification of the tax system (51%)
  • ŸŸbusiness rates reform (44%)
  • ŸŸdevelop employability skills of young people (41%)
  • ŸŸinvestment in broadband infrastructure (39%).
Mike Cherry, national policy chairman of the FSB, said the survey showed that small businesses want “stability and certainty”.

Business planning overlooked by SMEs

A third of small and medium-sized business owners are operating without a business plan, according to research by Close Brothers Asset Finance.

The survey found that 29% of SMEs do not have a business plan, with 43% of these claiming that they don’t believe they need one.

Furthermore, a fifth say they prefer to memorise their business plan rather than writing it down, while 15% say that having a plan isn’t a top priority.

Brian Dhenin, managing director of the broker division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, said:

“It is somewhat concerning that so many small and medium-sized firms do not have a business plan as without clear direction, they may be missing out on opportunities for growth
and not realising their full potential.”

Business planning basics

Having a solid plan in place for your business is essential, not just in its infancy but throughout its life. Plans not only help you fine-tune your vision but also make your business’s flaws more
visible, enabling you to develop your strategy and increase your resilience against potential risks.

A successful business plan must have the following components:
  • an overview of your company, your mission statement and the business’s unique features
  • ŸŸan analysis of the market, your competitors and your client base
  • ŸŸa detailed description of your company and the goods/ services it offers
  • ŸŸyour business strategy including a SWOT analysis, growth plans and a marketing strategy
  • ŸŸfinancial details including a balance sheet, revenue projections and a cashflow statement
  • ŸŸan outline of the steps you will take to turn your business plan into a reality.