The Federation of Small Businesses (‘FSB’) recently launched its manifesto to give the government a few pointers going forward. Since it was nearly 60 pages long I have picked some of the stats which will be of interest.
The FSB notes that 99% of the 4.9 million businesses in the UK are small and micro businesses. Also small businesses have a huge amount to offer.
Firstly, they are agile, so can create jobs faster and in larger numbers than other organisations.
Secondly, there is a veritable army of small businesses in every region and every sector, meeting all and every product or service need.
Because small businesses are the very fabric of our communities, the government can actually help society by supporting small businesses.
A Consensus in the FSB
The consensus among FSB members indicates:
• Confidence is growing among small and micro business owners in every sector, and in every region of the UK.
• Members want to invest more in their businesses, recruit more people and break into new markets.
• Start-ups are being created at an all-time record rate, with more people choosing to be self-employed.
• There is greater diversity among the ranks, with more women, and young people in particular, setting up in business for the very first time.
The Way Forward
With the uncertainty of the election behind us and despite the EU referendum still to come, speaking with my network confirms that there is cause for optimism.
I can see business confidence is rising. There is evidence that growth is paramount because businesses want finance and help with debt, equity and grant funding to achieve this.
Time and time again the key is to have a clear, punchy business plan. This gives small business owners the ability to forecast, focus the mind and help potential financiers to understand the business, its objectives and financial plans, to secure that vital backing.