Regulation, reputation and employee issues are presenting serious challenges to the UK’s SMEs, a new report suggests. The research, conducted by the Broker Network, polled over 500 small and medium business owners across the UK.
It found that 30% of SMEs see threats to their reputation as the biggest issue for their business, while 24% cite regulatory changes and 17% say that employee issues are a high risk. The lowest concerns include supply chain issues (13%) and legal issues (11%).
Adding to their concerns is recent weeks, is the potential impact of Brexit.
‘Workplace pensions and minimum wage are concerns’
The study quoted a number of SME owners talking about their principal worries. On the subject of staffing concerns, one commented that the biggest risk for them is “the escalating minimum wage that is moving at a pace that is greater than what we can charge the consumer.” Another said, “workplace pensions, everybody has to have a pension now, it’s been phased in and the company has to pay their percentage, which is another drain on finances… they [staff] wanted a pay rise but you’ve already given them 3%.”
Commenting on the findings, Andy Fairchild, CEO at Broker Network, said “As the UK’s leading network for independent insurance brokers, we wanted to assist our members and give them a voice in the UK business landscape. The findings will allow our members, all SMEs themselves, to engage with and build stronger relationships with their customers by understanding them and their risks and concerns.”