Another whirlwind of a week is fast coming to an end. Storms continued to cause havoc across the country, but at least London commuters had a slightly easier time getting into the office than the week before, given that the industrial action was suspended. But one thing remained the same though – it was a busy week on the SME news front.
Joley Kirby, SME Procurement Manager, Fujitsu UK & Ireland, @FujitsuSMELady, shares the stories of the week below.
- Following on from last week’s commuter chaos, The Guardian has opted to explore how being able to avoid the hectic morning commute may be just one of the many advantages that flexible working can bring. The publication will be hosting a live chat during which participants can discuss the many advantages of flexible working. The conversation will touch on, amongst other things, how the time it takes getting to and from work can be transformed into valuable and productive time if an employee is working from home – bringing benefits to the company as a whole. To join the conversation, on Wednesday 26 February between 1-2.30pm, you can join the Guardian Small Business Network here.
- Unfortunately not all news this week was focused on the positive. It was reported in The Daily Telegraph, that SME businesses are owed as much as £55bn in unpaid or outstanding invoices by sloppy payers – despite political pressure on large corporations to pay their smaller suppliers on time. The average business is now owed £11,358, with £30,000 outstanding for one in five SMEs – according to the European payment systems provider Sage Pay. This phenomenal outstanding amount is no doubt stifling growth and restricting cash flow.
- Beyond sloppy payers, SMEs could also be losing out on a further £77bn by not having mobile-optimised websites – according to a survey of 900 small and medium-sized enterprises, commissioned by hibu. The research showed that 45% of UK SMEs do not have a website, yet believe their annual revenue could rise by 5.4% if they had a website that was optimised for mobile transactions, equating to an average of £11,155 extra turnover annually. A further 45% of UK SMEs have a website that is not optimised for mobile. These businesses believe their annual revenues could rise by 3.5% if their website was optimised for mobile transactions, equating to an average of £23,793 extra turnover annually.
- In more welcome news, it reported that female entrepreneurs are leading the charge in the SME sector. Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) data used in a BBC report shows the UK’s high streets have seen a dramatic number of women starting-up businesses than at any previous time. Half (49.5%) of small firms established in the past two years in retail, or hotels, catering and leisure are owned primarily by women. This is in stark contrast to high street businesses started more than 20 years ago – but a positive move that speaks to the importance of diversity in leadership.
What are your thoughts on offering employees flexible working? Are you one of the companies that are owed over £11k? And do you think that investing in a mobile optimised website will help drive more revenue for your business? Let us know by commenting below, or engaging with us @Fujitsu_UK
Photo credit: Jeffrey Zedlman