Archive for the ‘Business Confidence Index’ Category
Calling all SMEs that are based in London – let your voice be heard!
Business Link in London’s quarterly Business Confidence Index has been providing an in-depth analysis of the recession’s impact on London’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) since July 2009.
The findings from previous surveys have been greatly received and widely published, delivering a useful tool for tracking and forecasting the optimism of London based businesses. For a synopsis of the previous surveys findings visit: http://online.businesslink.gov.uk/London_files/BCIMarch2010.pdf
In the latest Index, over 3,000 small businesses are going to be interviewed about business confidence during the final quarter of 2010. The Index will also explore strategies that SMEs have adopted to reduce the recession’s impact, their levels of optimism and growth prospects for the year ahead.
Please keep the momentum going by taking part in this survey, the only one of its kind to speak with such a wide ranging collection of business decision makers in London.
For a few minutes of your time we are offering anyone that takes part the opportunity to receive a FREE synopsis of the findings which is invaluable market information. The survey is being carried out by B2B International. Therefore, please be assured that all answers will be entirely confidential and not passed back individually to Business Link in London.
If you are interested in taking part please send an e-mail to email@example.com before 1st November 2010
Following Monday’s blog entry we can report that recent market research by B2B International shows that London’s entrepreneurs are more optimistic for 2010
London’s small businesses report that the recession is now having less of an impact on their business and levels of optimism and resilience remain high after the final quarter of the year, according to Business Link in London’s latest Business Confidence Index carried out by B2B International.
Although 69% of entrepreneurs tell us they are still affected by the recession, the impact is less significant – only 13% reporting they are extremely affected. This is a significant drop from 21% in July 2009.
The quarterly business confidence Index measures business sentiment of over 3,300 small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
This unique survey takes into account variations such as industry sector, sub-regional location, business types and business ownership (gender, Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME), Deaf and disabled).
Commenting on the Index, Patrick Elliott, Chief Executive of Business Link in London said: “Small businesses have always been resilient during times of economic upheaval due to their ability to adapt quickly. This flexibility, combined with their survival strategies and optimism, are likely to have shielded some businesses from the full force of the recession.”
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, added: “For the second week running another survey shows London’s small businesses can see light at the end of the tunnel. We have been working hard on their behalf and it is rewarding to see this sustained growth in confidence and to hear that, as we start turning the corner, our businesses are optimistic for the future.”
Mr Elliott continued: “However, entrepreneurs are not yet immune to the continuing tough economic climate. A note of caution is necessary to manage the months ahead.”
Reduced customer spending and sales generation are still key problems faced by established businesses. However, their impact on businesses has dropped significantly with only 20% concerned with customer spend in October, compared to 36% in July.
The food and drink sector is fairing better than it was in July due to increased customer spend. However, we are seeing a gloomier picture for the retail sector as customers cut back on purchases.
Declining profits and sales and cashflow constraints top the list of business activities hardest hit by the recession.
More home businesses are optimistic than ever before. They are telling us that they are marginally less affected by the recession than other business types (42% vs. 44%) and that they’re inclined to be slightly more optimistic about their overall future (17% vs. 14%).
Growth and optimism remain high on the agenda for the majority of those surveyed. The number of businesses looking to grow has increased from over half (59%) in February, to 63% in October. Levels of optimism remain unchanged since July (73% vs. 75%) with almost three quarters of those surveyed continuing to be optimistic about their overall business success.
“This cautious optimism is exactly what we advocate. The Index shows that entrepreneurs are refusing to get bogged down in the doom and gloom. Their strategies to tackle the worst impact of the recession are paying dividends,” continued Mr Elliott.
Online sales and trading have emerged as popular choices for growth over the next twelve months, making their way into the top 5 strategies considered. Despite this, increased marketing remains the top tactic favoured by businesses.
The manufacturing and property sectors are least likely to grow which suggests that they are simply concentrating on survival.
Two in five respondents are not planning on making further changes to their business to deal with the recession, an increase of 16% since July (40% vs. 24%). This is further evidence that businesses feel closer to recovery.
If you are a London based business and interested in taking part in the next quarterly Business Confidence Index then please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the latest American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor conducted in August, 55% of small-business owners are optimistic about near-term business prospects. This is a notable increase from the 45% who said the same when the semi-annual study was last run in March of this year. 763 US-based small-business owners were interviewed in the telephone survey.
Among those businesses reporting growth opportunities for their companies, 44% admitted that these opportunities had come about as a result of less competition in the marketplace.
Yet in spite of the seemingly growing optimism, 63% of respondents still do not think the worst of the US economic difficulties are over. 17% of the small-business owners claim they risk going out of business within the next six months. 68% said they are “stressed out” by the current economy and, for 31%, it has caused them to question their decision to become entrepreneurs in the first place.
A similar study which we conducted recently for Business Link in London among small business owners there also showed optimism remaining high for the next 12 months. In spite of feeling the effects of the credit crunch, a half of business owners that we spoke to are looking to fuel growth through ramping up marketing activity, 4 out of 10 are looking to diversify into new markets, and a third are looking to launch new products.
If you are the owner of an SME in London, we’d love to hear from you. To take part in future waves of this important study, please e-mail us and include your name, company name and London borough where your business is based.
In this week’s Thursday Night Insight, Nick Hague explains why, in his opinion, there will always be a place for small businesses.
Every day, when working in the office, I walk through the precinct close to where our UK office is located to go to our local deli to get my lunchtime sandwich. I have been furrowing this same path for the last 12 years and it still fills me with joy every day as I am greeted and welcomed by the local shopkeepers as if I was part of the family.
I feel highly privileged to work in close proximity to such a thriving local community where the local precinct holds many such shops that vary from clothing, homeware, aromatherapy and shoe shops through to grocers, fishmongers and butchers (and I defy anybody to show me a better butchers than Corrys). However, as our towns and cities are continued to be overrun with the marauding retail giants of Tesco and Walmart, I think it is refreshing to see how our local community (in the face of adversity with the current economic climate) is utilising its owner-managed enthusiasm to deliver a passion and engagement that is now lost from many of the faceless giants of the corporate world.
We have recently completed a piece of research for Business Link in London, speaking to small business owners in the UK’s capital city to find out what impact the credit crunch has had on their business and their future business plans. As expected, a fifth of businesses have been extremely affected by the recession, with 4 in 10 respondents stating that their overall budgets and expenditures have been significantly affected, especially the adverse impact on cashflow, reduced investment and funding, and a decline in national sales. However, even though businesses have been affected, optimism still remains high for the next 12 months with a half of business owners looking to fuel growth through ramping up marketing activity, 4 out of 10 looking to diversify into new markets, and a third looking to launch new products.
Like the local shop keepers where our office is based, I see many smaller business owners putting in superhuman efforts to make their businesses stand out and succeed against the competition in this difficult climate. In these uncertain times, small companies do hold many advantages over larger organizations, with lower central costs and greater awareness of changing trends allowing new ideas to thrive, and flexibility to react quickly to shifting demands.
Over the last 12 years of running B2B International I have experienced the difficulties and tensions as a company rises from humble beginnings into an organization that now has a global presence on three continents. I remember very early on, speaking to one of our research executives, and her saying “Why do want to grow? It is nice to work for such an intimate, family run company.” The problem is, if you always do what you always have then you always get what you have always got – if you are lucky! From our inception through to our current position we have continually fought to be adaptable, innovative and personal as we believe that customer service prevails in today’s competitive environment and that the future belongs to the smaller company. Of course, larger corporations will always enjoy economies of scale along with greater brand awareness and only large companies can carry out industrial production in the industries of automotive, steel, pharmaceutical and utility provision but, as typified by the example of General Motors, even with their large resources, things can still go horribly wrong.
A contrast is the John Lewis Partnership, the British department store and grocery chain. Here the staff really do own the business, and behave like enlightened capitalists rather than bloody-minded union members. It offers world-class service and a lesson in how important it is to keep the customer happy, and herein I think lies the answer. Smaller companies are continually looking to innovate and deliver customer service. They punch above their weight and force larger companies to up their game. In these uncertain times, the smaller business owner will continue to succeed.
STOP THE PRESS! Calling All Small Business Owners In London
We want to know the challenges you are facing as an SME in the current market conditions. Take part in the Business Link in London SME survey and tell us your opinion.
Business Link in London along with B2B International is kicking off its second wave of surveys for its Diverse Business Confidence Index Project. This research will provide an in-depth analysis of how the recession is having an impact on London’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
This survey will be the voice of over 3,000 small businesses in London and the Index will provide a timely and statistically significant insight into how different types of SMEs continue to be affected by the recession and what actions they have taken to combat its effects.
If you are a London business owner and would like to take part in the survey of the Diverse Business Confidence Index then please e-mail email@example.com and include your name, company name and London borough where your business is based.
The findings of a survey into the confidence of business owners in London have just been released. Conducted for Business Link in London by business-to-business market research and intelligence consultancy B2B International, the research highlights how the effect of the economic environment varies significantly by type of business, location and personal characteristics of owners.
The survey, commissioned to examine how to meet the business needs of a diverse marketplace, is the first of its kind and the ‘Diverse Business Confidence Index’ has been created to represent minority groups including women, ethnic/faith groups, the elderly, the disabled, and those of a particular sexual orientation.
B2B International director Nick Hague, in charge of the survey, says the survey uncovered perceived discrimination and prejudice in the business world. “This diverse business confidence index for BLIL is a great step in finding out how business owners are coping during the recession. Companies in the industry sectors of recruitment, property and construction have been hardest hit during the economic downturn, whilst least affected are in the health and beauty sector. As a bonus to developing such a robust index, we also gained real insight into diversity issues in business which may be mirrored across the country, not just across Greater London.”
For more information on the Diverse Business Confidence Index please click here.
If you are a London business owner and would like to take part in future waves of the Diverse Business Confidence Index then please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, company name and London borough where your business is based.