The challenges faced by SMEs

The challenges faced by SMEs

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Four in ten SME owners believe that they are currently going through the most unstable period they’ve ever experienced as a business owner.

The findings were revealed in a study of 500 business owners, commissioned by Xero, as part of a report which explores the future of small businesses.

According to the report, 54% of owners believe that the biggest threat to small businesses is receiving payments late.

Tax rates came next, and the prevailing uncertainty surrounding Brexit came third.

The nation was supposed to depart from the European Union at the end of October, but it was granted yet another extension to its departure deadline.

Uncertainty prevails among the UK’s political climate as parties prepare for a general election later on this month.

The report found that other challenges include the cost of staff recruitment, maintaining or increasing levels of productivity and cyber attacks.

“The ways small businesses work now are dramatically different from the 1980s when the first personal computers arrived,” Gary Turner, MD and co-founder of Xero, said.

“But business needs to adapt to greater changes coming their way,” Gary Turner continued.

“New technologies will hasten a far greater consciousness towards the biggest killer of small businesses.”

“Cash flow problems will decline as instant payment technologies take root as a cultural norm.”

Gerd Leonard, business futurist and contributor to the report, added: “Humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in the previous 300.”

“We will see the biggest technological transformation in human history – impacting where, how and why we work,” Gerd Leonard said.

“Automation is reducing the need for humans to undertake routine tasks and the world of work is heading towards a dramatic reset.”

“Everything we assume about work, jobs, training and education is being challenged by exponential scientific and technological progress.”

“Whether you’re a small business owner, an accountant, bookkeeper or advisor, these emerging trends will affect you very soon.”