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Greeting Card Association expresses concern on new evidence Royal Mail prioritising parcel deliveries over letters.

6 Mar 2024

The Greeting Card Association has reacted to a BBC Panorama programme lifting the lid on Royal Mail management prioritising parcel delivery over letters, which it says are in contradiction of... Read more…

Kate Bush named as Record Store Day ambassador.

4 Mar 2024

Pop star Kate Bush has been announced as an ambassador for this year's Record Store Day, on 20 April.
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Shortlist for Independent Bookshop of the Year 2024 revealed.

4 Mar 2024

The British Book Awards has announced its shortlist for Independent Bookshop of the Year. 
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Local Bike Shop Day 2024 confirmed for Saturday May 4th.

4 Mar 2024

The ACT is happy to confirm the date for Local Bike Shop Day 2024 as Saturday 4 May, the weekend of the early May Bank Holiday.
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New research reveals the best cities in the UK for independent retailers.

4 Mar 2024

Research by global fintech company SumUp has revealed the best cities in the UK for independent businesses.
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Rising costs continue to impact hair and beauty sector

21 Feb 2024

The latest quarterly State of the Industry survey from the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) shows that the recovery of the sector was slow and steady through 2023 and into January... Read more…

UK votes for its favourite pun-based shop name

21 Feb 2024

The UK has voted for its favourite pun-based shop name, and 'Sew It Seams' - a clothing alteration store in Belfast - has been awarded the top spot. 
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Town centre shops praise council for initiatives

21 Feb 2024

Businesses in the Devon town of Ottery St Mary have praised their local council for initiatives designed to help support them and boost trade.
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Three UK indie coffee shops named among the most popular in the world.

19 Feb 2024

A new ranking of the most popular independent coffee shops in the world has put three UK cafes in the top 10.
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Age-friendly businesses could revitalise Britain's high streets.

19 Feb 2024

Older people could be the financial shot in the arm needed for Britain’s high street, according to research commissioned by the University of Stirling. 
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Eight in Ten Small Businesses Taking Positive Steps to Strengthen Their Enterprises in 2024

Posted on in Business News

Eight in ten small business owners (81%) are planning to develop their companies in 2024, according to new research from Novuna Business Finance. The research shows that over a third (33%) are focusing on new initiatives to increase income, whilst a fifth (20%) are looking to reduce their fixed costs.

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With around nine in ten small businesses (89%) saying that they still feel the pressures from the cost-of-living crisis, there is an emphasis on increasing business income and sales this year across all sectors. Small businesses in the media and marketing sector were the most likely to say they are looking at new ways to improve their income and sales (52%), followed by small businesses in retail (42%) and IT and telecoms (40%).

 Nationally, the top five initiatives small business owners are focusing on to secure growth include: 

  • Increasing new business income/ sales – 33%
  • Reducing fixed costs – 20%
  • Diversifying the business, offering new service lines/ products – 18%
  • Planning ahead with business budgeting – 18%
  • Building up financial reserves – 17%

Across the UK, small businesses in the North East of England are the most likely to be prioritising particular strategies to strengthen their enterprise (89%), followed by small businesses in London (86%), and the South East (84%).

Rather than recruiting new employees, one in four (25%) hospitality and leisure businesses and over a fifth (23%) of manufacturing businesses are spending time investing in the people who already work at the company in the year ahead.

Top strategies used by small businesses to become stronger in 2024:

  • Increasing new business income/ sales – 33%
  • Reducing fixed costs – 20%
  • Diversifying the business, offering new service lines/ products – 18%
  • Planning ahead with business budgeting – 18%
  • Building up financial reserves – 17%
  • Advertising online to increase awareness or sales 14%
  • Spending time investing in the people that already work at the company – 13%
  • Invest more money in marketing the business to raise awareness of our brand and services – 11%
  • Expanding into new geographical markets – 10%
  • Not applicable – my business is not planning to prioritise anything in particular to make our business stronger – 19%

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