The most common threats faced by UK small businesses
We asked small business owners how vulnerable they feel their business is to threats, which showed that a staggering 86.4% believe their business is at risk in some form.
Brexit and the ever-increasing cost of living crisis has caused difficulties for small businesses. But how exactly are problems materialising?
According to our survey, the most common threats to small businesses are as below:
Supply chain delays (32%) stand as the most common threat faced by UK SMEs and comes as a result of global shortages of materials, staff shortages and transport delays occurring at the same time as sharp spikes in demand.
The shortage of materials is a direct consequence of Brexit regulations, whilst staff shortages and transport delays have been heightened by the rising cost of living forcing SME owners to cut back on their services and reduce working hours.
Retaining uniqueness (27.1%) and changing consumer demands (26.5%) follow amongst the most common threats SMEs are currently facing.
Threats are just that until they transpire, so what impact are these having on UK small businesses?
Almost a third (29.2%) of SMEs reported a loss of profit and 27.8% reported a loss in revenue. This comes as no surprise with the rising cost of living directly resulting in supply chain instability and changing consumer demands.
Raymond Mannion, the owner of a small construction company in Northwest London, sheds light on the main threats his business has faced over the past year:
“The primary threats we have faced as a construction company are increased cost of materials and labour, alongside supply chain delays. These issues have arisen primarily as a result of Brexit which has caused a dramatic decline in the number of labourers viable to work in the UK and disrupted the trade of vital materials such as timber and screws.
In order to stabilise the profit margin, we have been forced to increase the prices passed onto customers. It is vital for those in the construction sector to find a balance between rising costs and customer satisfaction to maintain security during these tumultuous times.”