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Business Longevity: How to make sure your business remains a success

Why do 42% of new businesses in the UK fail within five years? Alternatively, what can you do to help your business keep trading for over 100 years? Read our infographic to find out how to make your business a success and last the test of time.

In the UK, 42% of businesses fail within their first five years. It's a big percentage, and a problematic one too. So why is this happening? In this infographic we explore the reasons behind this figure, while providing solutions to help make your smart idea flourish and not flounder.

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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Business Longevity: How to make sure your business remains a success text below View transcript

Business Longevity

Thousands of new businesses are born on a monthly basis, with 42% of all new businesses and 55% of SMEs failing within their first five years.

59% Economy

56% Competition

54% Red Tape

52% Price Sensitivity

49% Regulations

48% Taxation

42% Cash Flow

40% Late Incoming Payments

33% Recruiting Staff

31% Shortages of Skills

28% Obtaining Finance

22% Pensions

21% Availability/cost of premises

How to overcome these obstacles: Location.

Locate your business in an appropriate place for the goods or services you are selling.

UK Cities with the highest start-up success

49% Cambridge

46% Aberdeen

46% Brighton

45% Oxford

44% Norwich

James Lock & Co

Industry: Milliner (Hat Maker)

Established: 1796

Become primary milliners to the gentry and the military due to their close proximity. 

To St James Palace

Company Culture & Employee Satisfaction. 

An Engaged and Happy Workforce positively affects your profit. 

Engaged employees: 2.62 days per year

Disengaged employees: 6.19 days per year.

Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave your company than the disengaged

Staff turnover costs businesses around 4.13 billion

Appropriate Training

Invest in enhancing skills that are relevant to your business

‘’The management team’s tech skills are critical to the success of the business’’

Say 49% of businesses.

‘’We’re affected by the tech skills gap and need better know-how’’

Say 22% of businesses.

Burleigh Pottery

Industry: Pottery

Established: 1851

-Invested in property designed to improve working conditions and efficiency

-Reformed the industry by offering improved pay and working conditions.

High Quality Customer Service

Focus On Improving Customer Experience

Poor customer service costs UK businesses around £15.3 billion per year

How can I help?

In the last six months, 24% of UK customers stopped doing business due to a bad customer experience.

Key reasons customers stop using a business.


23% Unfair fees of charges

22% Poor product or service quality

19% Rude or disinterested employees

12% Couldn’t get hold of anyone to deal with a problem.

7% Discounts for new customers but not for existing customers.

5% Out of territory call centres

4% Inadequate returns or refund policy

1% Inadequate environmental policy

7% other


Solid Business Strategy

Create a clear, comprehensive business plan

1) Financial plan

2) Marketing differentiators

3) Product strategy

4) Plan for employee retention


C. Hoare & Co 

Industry: Banking

Established: 1672

Adapted customer services by introducing bank statements and online in modern times.

Adhering to core values and ethos of treating others as they would wish to be treated.

Financial Road Map – Information Technology Investment


Stick to a financial plan that keeps spending on track

4 out of 5 businesses fail due to poor cash flow.

Incorporate and adapt to appropriate technological changes


SME’s that grew over 50% between 2013-15 are four times more likely to have invested in new technologies annually.

82% of European SMEs have seen direct benefits from improved IT investment.


Industry: Miller (not milliner)

Established: 1675

Introduced new technological processes to help keep up with demand

Constant innovation, investment and commitment to consumers’ needs


Strong sales techniques – investment in social media

A strong ecommerce strategy

Invest in a good social media strategy

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