Home Business News Cashflow keeping business leaders awake at night as SMEs ‘extremely concerned’ for 2022

Cashflow keeping business leaders awake at night as SMEs ‘extremely concerned’ for 2022

by LLB Finance Reporter
31st Jan 22 12:10 pm

Cashflow is keeping business owners awake at night, with over half concerned about their incomings and outgoings, a new survey has revealed.

In the Q4 Confidence Survey released today by small business lender Capify, in which the majority (53%) of respondents reported turnover of between £1m and £10m, over 30% said they were “slightly concerned” about their cash reserves, while 20% said they were either “very” or “extremely” concerned.

Over a third (37%) of UK SMEs responding to the survey also reported that they currently have less than £50,000 in the bank.

The majority (52%) said they were worried about their company’s cashflow over the next 12 months, with 23% saying it is keeping them awake at night. The second biggest concern (16%) depriving business leaders of a good night’s sleep was staffing and resources.

In terms of fears over potential new Covid restrictions, 19% said they would not survive another lockdown, with 50% of those businesses forecasting they would not be able to continue trading beyond three months if the scenario came about.

John Rozenbroek, CFO/CCO at Capify, said, “Cashflow appears to be the issue dominating the minds of SME owners up and down the UK.

“It would be an understatement to describe the last two years as turbulent, with businesses suffering from the uncertainty and economic damage caused by Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic.

“To be blunt, our SMEs could do with a break in 2022. Sadly, with new custom controls introduced this month and the Omicron variant causing disruption and staff absences for businesses in many sectors, it appears that may be asking for too much.”

Despite those concerns, SMEs answering the survey struck a positive tone about turnover and profit.

Over half (56%) grew their turnover over the past 12 months – 27% of which was by 10% or more, while 46% increased their profits.

Additionally, 60% of businesses expect to grow their turnover in 2022 – with 15% aiming for growth of 20% or more, while 45% are hoping to hire new staff.

Rozenbroek added: “It’s encouraging to see that businesses are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead. That the majority who responded to our survey are looking to growth over the next year is a testament to the sheer resilience of UK businesses. Many are even looking to boost turnover by a fifth, which is incredible to see.

“For the UK’s SME community, economic recovery is still a long way off, but to small business owners please rest assured, Capify will continue to help in any way we can.”

The survey received responses from UK SMEs across a wide range of sectors, including construction, manufacturing, professional services, retail and IT services. Almost 60% of respondents had been trading for over 15 years.

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