Despite the bombshells of bad news coming from the financial sector and the UK’s major organisations, Britain’s small businesses appear to be showing a true fighting spirit in an attempt to push back the doom and gloom – according to the latest survey from XLN Telecom.
In a poll of 536 small businesses – 87% of which employed less than 10 – whilst 15% believed this Christmas was going to be “the worst ever”, 32% believed it would be the same as last year and a surprising 14% thought it would be better. Likewise, when looking forward to next year, a staggering 18% believed they could “thrive” in 2009, with a significant 32% anticipating no change. Only 2% felt they would have to close down in the period.
However, Messeurs Brown, Darling and Mandelson should not reach for the champagne just yet as 69% of those polled stated they were unhappy with the actions being taken by the Government to support small businesses. More favourably for the Government, only 52% believed a change of Government would make a positive difference.
Steps the small businesses surveyed said they would definitely be taking to battle their way through 2009 would be:
– Cutting overheads and purchases – 41%
– Cutting marketing costs – 32%
– Changing utility suppliers – 26%
Surprisingly, though, only 10% said they were “definitely” going to be reducing headcount in response to the downturn and only 9% reducing pricing next year. Instead, the majority felt offering promotions would be the most effective tactic for driving revenues in 2009.
Anthony Karibian, CEO of XLN Telecom, commented, “Small businesses are highly resilient. Much of this resilience comes from their ability to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances – this combined with a highly entrepreneurial drive. As a result, whilst many were certain about what they would and wouldn’t do, there were large percentages of ‘maybes’ on key questions relating to their plans for 2009 – showing that if changes need to be made during the course of next year, they will be ready to make them at that point.”