UK founders have increased their resilience (57%), adaptability (55%) and financial acumen (48%) since starting their own business, according to a study of 502 UK SMBs founders by Oracle NetSuite and The Founding Network.
The Oracle NetSuite State of Entrepreneurship Report: How Founders Are Adapting and Succeeding showed that 91% of UK SMB founders have had to develop new skills since starting their business. Marketing and communication (49%) and finance and accounting processes (45%) were two of the top skills UK SMB founders have focused on developing the most.
With inflation at a 40-year high according to the Office for National Statistics, 88% of SMB founders surveyed are concerned about the business impact of rising inflation and 83% about a recession, but the study suggests founders are taking steps to counter these threats:
- Over three-quarters of respondents (76%) have changed their business plan in the last two years
- Just 65% of SMB founders say knowing the financial health of their business right now is critical
- Under half (45%) say their main goal is improving profitability this year
Almost two-thirds of SMB founders (64%) have adopted cloud technology for critical aspects of running their business, including accurate financial reporting, running the business, remote management and speeding up manual processes.
- Over four-fifths (87%) of SMB founders using cloud technologies said they are seeing the benefits
- Only 15% of cloud users still rely on manual processes to run their business, compared to 63% that don’t use cloud technology
- Three-quarters (75%) said they grew their business in 2021, compared to 47% of those not using cloud technology
“Accounting and finance skills are key for any founder; you need to understand your gross margins and profitability. If we had understood our financials and gross profit better in the early days, we would have perhaps diversified earlier on into higher margin products,” said Adam Taylor, Co-founder of PetShop.co.uk and Oracle NetSuite customer. “We always see with any disruption there is also a huge opportunity as others will be nervous and scaling back their investment. As a small business owner, we’ve recognised the value of our cloud-based systems to outmanoeuvre other companies and gain a competitive edge, despite the tricky economic landscape.”
“The economic whirlwind of the past two years has emphasised the importance of resiliency and adaptability and founders that are taking advantage of the cloud say they are achieving greater levels of growth and business confidence compared to founders of SMBs that don’t,” added Nicky Tozer, EMEA Senior Vice President at Oracle NetSuite. “Cloud technology has levelled the playing field for entrepreneurial businesses, giving them the ability to access real-time, accurate business and financial information and keep business efficient and on track.”Click below to share this article