Small businesses failing to make long term plans

Many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are failing to make long term plans because of economic uncertainty, research from Npower has found.

The majority (57 per cent) of businesses are only planning ahead for next six to 12 months, despite 55 per cent recognising the benefits of long term planning and preferring to have plans in place.

The UK's stalling economy and squeezed income are cited as the biggest barriers to adequate business planning.

A significant proportion (42 per cent) of the 500 businesses questioned said the day-to-day running of their business often prevented long term plans being made, stating that more time and resources would help make planning easier.

Phil Scholes, SME markets director at Npower, said it was encouraging that many SMEs wanted to plan further ahead.

"While the stability of the economy, which many SMEs cite as a key barrier to forward planning, is not something businesses can control, there are some steps they can take to help," he said.

For example, 60 per cent of small businesses said strategies including being able to fix prices on overheads, such as energy bills, would provide certainty and help them plan further ahead.

Other ways of keeping down costs include:

  • Reducing your utility costs
  • Maximising the energy efficiency of your business
  • Improving employee productivity
  • Managing your business budgets and finances more effectively.

We can help to manage your business costs and plan for the long term. Please talk to us to find out how.