We’re all used to the doom and gloom surrounding the recession and the continued slow UK recovery rates, but it has come to light that more than two-thirds of UK businesses are able to see the silver lining. Although economic downturn has made many areas of business far more challenging, especially when it comes to finding funding for small businesses, there have been upsides.
The biennial SME Trends Index by Hilton Baird Financial Solutions has shown that when asked if their company has benefited at all from the economic downturn, business owners had a variety of answers. Nearly 40% said they had been encouraged to streamline and reduce unnecessary costs. A third also say that they now use resources more effectively than they had done previously.
The recession has made it essential for businesses to take a close look at their operations. This means that nearly a third now believe that they have gained better insight into their business. They have also needed to reassess outgoings, with 20% stating that they have renegotiated with suppliers to gain better rates and 10% have benefited from reduced competition within their business sectors.
This is all only a silver lining, however. The dark cloud of limited growth and the ongoing impacts of the double dip recession are still being felt keenly within the SME sector. Over the coming months, 33% are concerned about their ability to generate new business, and a further 20% are concerned about the rising cost of materials and fuel.
Despite the obviously negative nature of the recession, there were a surprisingly small percentage of 28% who could not think of any benefits arising from the recession. While surviving during such harsh times is always difficult, there have been upsides for those businesses who have been able to adapt and make the most of the opportunities that there are.