A Guest Blog by Graham Morgan, a Business Expert.
There were 267,000 business enterprises in Wales in 2019 according to the Office of National Statistics and this was the highest number recorded over the period from 2003. The growth from 169,000 enterprises in 2003 has been consistent year on year. Small and medium sized businesses(SME’s) accounted for 62.4% of the estimated 1.2m people in employment in Wales at the end of 2019. Of this number 263,000 employed 50 staff or less demonstrating the importance of businesses surviving the current 2020 crisis.
There has been growth in the number of businesses in the large category – employing more than 250 staff however the medium size band of business employing between 50 and 249 saw the greatest growth in employment – up 2.9% over the year.
Training and planning for the future
Forward thinking Business Owners will be actively seeking improvement in their bottom line performance in the wake of weaker trading across many sectors. Staff often become the first target for cost saving and there is every likelihood organisations will be looking to trim 15% to 20% off their staff cost line through redundancy programs or by not replacing staff that leave. The announced extension to the Government Furlough scheme will help in certain instances to keep key staff which will be critical to the future. More important will be having a training and development plan in place to help staff upskill on areas of your business to focus on for success in 2021 and beyond.
Unprecedented year for business
Levels of positivity coming into 2020 were high across all categories of Business and many Business Owners saw 2020 as one of growth and expansion. That all changed with Covid-19 making its entry into the UK in late winter. In essence 2020 has been a year like no other which has tested the most robust business plan.
On the 29th October Begbies Traynor released a report indicating 557,000 UK businesses are now in significant distress – almost 10% of total enterprises in the UK as at the end of 2019. Reflecting this detail into the Wales business enterprise data it would indicate around 27,000 enterprises will be in significant distress. Significantly concerning given the levels of UK Government, Welsh Government and Local Authority support made available to Welsh Business owners since March 2020.
Professional support is key
In essence this data emphasises the need for Busy Family Business Owners in Wales to seek professional support early to help them navigate the current economic pressures and survive. Seeking second opinion or indeed guidance from an experienced business consultant can allow effective decisions to be made that will keep your business on track. These are difficult times but finding new ways to do business and identifying new markets and customers to serve can transform many business models. As the saying goes ‘keep doing the same things and you get the same results’ – now is the time for decisive action to have the right information, advice and guidance that will help you succeed.
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