In Depth: Electricity in a zombie apocalpyse
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This article was updated 20th September 2016
Did you know that 8 out of 10 businesses fail within 18 months? The internet may have enabled anybody to become an entrepreneur, but running a successful business is no mean feat. So what are some common stumbling blocks for SMEs, and how do you overcome them?
Many small businesses are confused about the funding opportunities available to them, and flounder due to a lack of finance or cash flow issues.
We suggest: SMEs that have a strong financial history and prove good prospects are more likely to get loans. Going beyond the banks can help: there are more funding options than many smaller businesses realise, as our finance guide explains. Have a product or idea with considerable marketing appeal? Try crowdfunding. Websites such as Kickstarter allow anybody to raise money for a project, and have seen a number of considerable successes. Depending on your industry, you may be eligible for government grants such as R&D grants for businesses involved in life sciences and innovation.
Finding skilled employees has always been difficult, and the cost of hiring the wrong person has caused many a business owner grey hairs. Additionally, a number of surveys have shown that the UK is currently experiencing a skills gap, particularly in the digital arena.
We suggest: Taking on someone with less experience and building their skills yourself can make for a reliable and well-trained employee. Apprenticeship is now a nationally recognised scheme, enabling small businesses to employ new staff without breaking the bank, as our guide explains. Alternatively, check out websites such as Fiverr or People Per Hour, where you can hire talented freelancers instantly.
Costs and time-drains consistently block SME growth. Even simple administration tasks eat up time and are therefore very costly to smaller businesses. For example, an FSB study found that UK SMEs could be losing £500 million a year in unnecessary costs related to tax administration, with around 12 days a year lost on average.
We suggest: Small businesses can simultaneously cut both costs and their time burden. SwitchMyBusiness.com has already helped thousands of companies save millions of pounds, on their business energy bills without the investment of time usually needed to compare and switch supplier. Simply complete the form in the top right hand corner or call 0800 411 8830.
Competent and courteous service.
"Marie was knowledgeable and helpful. I feel able to recommend the service given without reservation. David Slesenger"This review was posted by David Slesenger on the 16th of August 2016
"Nadia was very helpful"This review was posted by Robin on the 16th of August 2016
Excellent Customer Service *****
"Jonathan Burgess is an asset to Switch My Business. He made me feel at ease and was more than helpful at all times. He made regular contact and guided me through the whole process which made switching a breeze. I just wish there were more customer service advisers like Jonathon whose friendly and happy demeanour make your day a much nicer one. Well done Switch my business and more importantly thank you Jonathon for all your hard work! Maria Owen Lodgecrest"This review was posted by Maria Owen on the 17th of August 2016
EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE
"I totally agree with a customer maria owen,Jonathan Burgess was such a pleasure dealing with and is truly a asset to the company, he made it very easy to switch my electricity companies, Jonathan Burgess was very helpful, easy to talk to it was like talking to a friend not just a customer adviser. I would definitely recommend switchmybusiness and try get hold off Jonathan Burgess if possible and have the same excellent service as I did. Rajan Shanan"This review was posted by Rajan Shanan on the 19th of August 2016
Excellent and very helpful
"Arron who dealt with my switch of energy and gas has been a huge help and extremely efficienct and easy to deal with. Despite British Gas throwing obstacles in the way at every turn he has doggedly stuck to his task and saved the day. Thanks Arron."This review was posted by Rod Pryce-Jones on the 19th of August 2016