Business risk at highest level for two years – Zurich » SMEInsider

Business risk at highest level for two years – Zurich

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Zurich’s latest SME Risk Index has hit its highest level in two years, the insurer reported this week.

The index is now sitting at 40.18 points, indicating the highest level of risk to the UK’s small businesses since Q1 2014 and a 5 per cent increase in the last six months.

The survey is made up 1,000 SME owners, and it also reveals that 39 per cent of owners believe their business faces more risk now than compared with a year ago, with 8 per cent saying they have considered closing down.

Anne Griffiths, Head of SME Proposition at Zurich, comments: “Figures from the last half of the year show a worrying increase in concern about business risk among SMEs. There continue to be a number of economic roadblocks and operational challenges to be overcome.

“While a number of firms are forced to make difficult decisions, more small businesses are working harder to reach new audiences and exploring innovative methods to diversify their offering than are cutting costs or staff. In front of a precarious economic backdrop, the SME community are demonstrating the flexibility to adapt and capitalise on their environment. What we are seeing now is the strength of character that has cemented small businesses’ place as the powerhouse of the British economy, but they will need all the support available for them to ride out the current uncertainty.”

 

Some positive signs

However, it’s not all doom and gloom: the Index does point out that the lower confidence levels have driven a growing number of SMEs to look into more innovative ways of surviving and growing.

According to Zurich, nearly half  of SMEs (48 per cent) say they have increased and broadened their business development efforts in order to  attract new business; meanwhile 30 per cent of those responding to the survey say they have pursued diversification as a way of bucking slow growth rates.

  • Goose

    I feel like closing my business down every day, we just can’t compete on price with the much larger company’s out there. The internet has made everything super price sensitive and competitive. We have stopped distance selling to consumers as they open stuff like laptops and then just send it back and we are left with used goods we cannot send back to our suppliers. The EU just makes things worse with all the red tape and constant regulation. There’s no point in spending thousands on SEO as you will never beat ebay and Amazon to the top of google. It’s no wonder SME are suffering. All thes ebig companies have been allowed to grow exponentially and dominate. And just how many jobs are Amazon creating really? Most of their systems are automated and they are putting more business out of business every day than they do create jobs. If you want to sell on ebay or Amazon, again by the time you’ve taken off yout fees and all the hassle is anyone really making much money other than ebay and Amazon themselves?