The UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) feel broadly confident on their growth prospects, despite the looming challenges of Brexit, says a new report by Elavon Europe.
The research polled 865 SMEs across 17 cities in the UK to understand the retail market conditions, opportunities and concerns.
The study reveals that despite the economic uncertainty around Brexit, 60% of UK SMEs feel positive about growth prospects, with 68% believing there are more opportunities now than ten years ago. Apart from Brexit, which was the biggest concern voiced by SMEs (51%), other main challenges include cash flow (39%) and customer retention (24%).
While the ecommerce boasts many growth opportunities, many businesses are not adopting new technology needed to help them flex and remain relevant. By facilitating a variety of cashless payments methods, SMEs are poised to increase revenue via mobile wallets, through in-app payment and with next-generation, point-of-sale (POS) terminals. One-third of SMEs indicate concern about keeping pace with these technological changes. Lack of knowledge is an issue with one in four SMEs (24%), admitting they don’t understand the payment options available.
“SMEs make up the largest proportion of our customers and a significant portion of the private sector business in the UK. Understanding their perceptions and concerns is critical. Our research highlights that businesses are positive about their growth.”
“Smaller companies tend to be more positive and entrepreneurial. They are concerned with getting paid on time and securing repeat business to stay viable.”
– Hannah Fitzsimons, European executive vice president and general manager, Elavon Europe.