Small business survey shows increasing market confidence
Levels of confidence among small firms are at record levels, according to the latest survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).*
That’s great news for the British economy, particularly given all the debate recently about how a no vote in the Scottish referendum on independence would negatively impact on businesses across the whole of the UK.
“With 61% of firms surveyed forecasting growth, the future looks bright for SMEs, who are already playing a vital role in the country’s economic recovery. There are around 4.5 million small businesses across the country, and whilst it is ultimately down to each individual business to shape their own destiny, there are always some top tips to remember which will help pave the way to success.
“At Russell Scanlan, we’re passionate about helping SMEs get the right support and advice to survive and thrive. Understanding your insurance needs and managing business risks appropriately are part and parcel of this process. Here are our top 5 tips to help your business go from strength to strength.
- Start at the start. If you’re launching a new venture, get to grips with the many types of business insurance that are available. Remember that some are legally required, others are optional. Speak to an insurance broker who can help you navigate the market and provide practical, independent advice on what’s most appropriate for your needs.
- When the time comes to grow your team, review the insurance policies you’ve already got in place. If you appoint new staff, you automatically take on responsibility for their welfare at work, so it is essential to have the right cover incase there are any legal implications if an employee decides to raise a particular issue.
- If you’re looking to break into new markets, perhaps overseas, beware of wider issues relating to export liabilities or kidnap and ransom threats. Business abroad is a very different cup of tea, and there are additional risks that your business and staff may face. You might wish to consider taking out a specific insurance package that will mitigate such risks.
- Efficiently managing cash-flow can mean the difference between boom or bust for a small business. Protect yourself against bad debt by finding out as much as possible about new clients. Plan contingencies so you have additional funds, overdraft or credit facilities if you need to cover a bad debt. Credit insurance can often prove useful in circumstances where there is a higher risk.
- Don’t turn a blind eye to cybercrime. The official estimate of the cost of cybercrime to the UK is £27 billion. It’s a real threat to businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. If your business relies heavily on ICT to run its day to day operations, it is highly advisable to make sure you have insurance cover in place to protect your online assets and commercial capabilities.
Simon Winiarski is a Director at Russell Scanlan, one of the UK’s leading independent insurance broking and risk managing firms.
* Blog Source: FSB / www.startups.co.uk / Channel 4.