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UK Small Businesses Are Actually Huge

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by Startacus Admin

UK small businesses are actually hugeAre you aware that small businesses in the UK are actually HUGE?  That’s according to research carried out by our pals at FreeAgent, providers of online accounting services for small businesses.   

They have revealed the startling statistic that some 95% of all UK businesses have fewer than 10 employees, with over 5 million enterprises categorised as ‘micro-businesses’, and 19% of annual UK business turnover being generated by freelancers and micro-businesses.

We don't mind admitting that we were somewhat taken aback by this figure, it is of course no surprise to us that small business is booming in Britain, but we had no idea to what an extent.

Earlier this year we reported on the record breaking rise in entrepreneurship that has been seen in recent years in the UK, as enterprising people, discontent with a volatile employment situation, have taken up entrepreneurial pursuits as a way of creating a more stable future for themselves and their families.  

UK small businesses are actually hugeThis makes the need to support small and medium enterprises all the more urgent, as they are faced with the same magnitude of administrative issues as their larger and more equipped counterparts.

The rise in entrepreneurship, is thanks in part to the dramatic technological developments which have taken plan in recent decades, which have made the ambition of running your own business into an achievable goal within the reach of more people than ever before.

But, what Freeagent's research has also revealed is that some small businesses still remain somewhat reluctant to embrace the opportunities created by the modern digital economy, favouring time-consuming and labour intensive means of completing traditional business administration tasks.

UK small businesses are actually hugeWithin accounts and bookkeeping alone, here are some of the unexpected things they have uncovered;

  • 34% of small businesses admit to feeling overwhelmed by their accounts

  • 1 in 4 have little idea what their profit margin is

  • 1 in 8 have had to wait a year or more to receive payment for work they have completed

  • 1 in 10 check their financials once or less per year

  • UK businesses spend 28,000,000 unnecessary days per year doing their books

  • More than half of UK businesses still rely on pen, paper, and spreadsheets to do their books

UK small businesses are actually huge

But with great challenges comes great opportunities and this is something that our pals over at FreeAgent know all too well.  They are a real success story of the recent explosion in UK tech startups, having grown from humble beginnings into one of the country's most well used and successful online providers of cloud based accountancy software.  

Their startup story is one that should resonate very well with the Startacus community - it was a simple idea, borne from a need, that turned into a business, that continues to go from strength to strength.

In 2007 friends Ed Molyneux, Roan Lavery, and Olly Heady were working as freelancers when they became completely frustrated with dealing with complicated paperwork, ridiculous spreadsheets, and confusing tax returns. They resolved to make the process simpler and thus FreeAgent was born.  By 2013 they had grown the business to such an extent that it topped Deloitte’s list of the fastest growing UK tech firms.  

UK small businesses are actually hugeNow they are offering an opportunity to all of you, through their ongoing crowdfunding campaign taking place on equity investment platform Seedrs.  Until the 20th of July, they are allowing anyone to request to buy shares in FreeAgent.  Over 600 investors have already contributed over £940,000 of their £1,000,000 offering, which will see 3.21% of their equity sold off.  

For those of you now doing the maths, that gives FreeAgent a current valuation of over £30,000,000… wow!!

All the very best of luck to everyone at FreeAgent, we know you can do it!!

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Published on: 15th July 2015

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