These are hard times for small businesses. Whether it’s the banks not lending or the customers not spending, small businesses are having to find ever more inventive ways to protect themselves from the state of the economy.
This is a view backed up by recent research published in the latest edition of Business Factors Index by Bibby Financial Services. Out over 4,000 small and medium size businesses questioned, nearly one in four (24%) believe that trading conditions are worse this year than last year, and over one third (35%) expect the economy to take at least three more years to recover.
Edward Rimmer, chief executive of Bibby Financial Services in the UK, said: “With murmurs of an impending second ‘credit crunch’ rife, UK businesses are still in for a bumpy ride. The second quarterly Index shows businesses are a long way from recovery and, although turnover is stable, there is a danger of negative growth turning into a backwards slide towards recession.”
Cutting costs, not corners
The research also discovers that almost two thirds (59%) of business owners are planning on cutting costs, while half intend to manage their suppliers more carefully in the face of continuing economic challenges.
It is understandable that businesses are looking to cut costs wherever possible. But business owners would do well to do this in a rational and measured fashion, rather than just slashing costs which seem surplus to requirements today but could prove invaluable in the future. Insurance costs are an expense that should be reduced if possible but not cut altogether. Unlike Employers Liability Insurance, or Employees Liability Insurance as it sometimes goes by, Public Liability Insurance is not required by law and some rash business owners might be tempted to allow theirs to lapse.
However, the more sensible course would be for them to cut their insurance payments by seeking a more competitive Public Liability Insurance quote online. There are lots of insurance companies eager for business so a good deal is highly likely. That way, a boss can cut their costs without coming a cropper if a member of the public makes a claim against them.