A fall in the amount of cash SMEs have readily available to invest in the business has been noted by new research carried out by Bibby Financial Services.
Only 2 per cent of companies have cash on hand to reinvest, a figure which is down on the 20 per cent recorded back in 2009.
In a study of 450 small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), Bibby Financial Services aimed to evaluate the outlook and performance of companies during the first two quarters of 2013.
As well as noting that readily available capital is down, Bibby also finds that 50 per cent do not believe that the chanellor’s Budget announcement back in March has done enough to help businesses grow. On top of that, only 10 per cent believe that the next Budget, due in the form of the Autumn Statement on 5 December, will support SME development.
However, rises have been found in the amount of firms which are reporting an increase in orders (up from 24 per cent to 33 per cent) and companies noting a rise in customers (up from 38 per cent to 40 per cent).
As part of its research, Bibby finds that a 2 per cent increase in customer retention has the same effect as reducing costs by 10 per cent.
On the social media front, by 2014 use of social media by SMEs with between 250 and 500 staff is predicted to climb by 56 per cent. In evaluating which platform is most effective, 86 per cent use Facebook, 41 per cent LinkedIn and 33 per cent Twitter. For those engaging with different social media platforms, a post ‘at least once every day’ will help businesses to reach 22 per cent of followers.