Proportion of small businesses in profit returns to pre-recession levels

Builders’ merchants have had a torrid time over the past decade, but it seems the worst is over.

22nd May 2015

Government research into the fate of small and medium-sized businesses has found that 78% of SMEs made a profit or surplus during 2014 – returning to the levels we last saw in 2007 and 2008, and a promising increase on 2012’s 72%.  The research consisted of telephone interviews with spokespeople from over 4000 SMEs. Other key findings in the Small Business Survey 2014 include:


●        Only 18% of respondents reported falling turnover, compared with 40% who reported an increase in turnover based on 2012’s figures.

●        Over half of SMEs expect turnover growth in 2015.

●        Hiring rates remain low, but are increasing slowly. 22% of firms surveyed said they took on staff over the past year, compared with 19% in 2012. A third of employers plan to hire more staff in the coming year, with less than one in 20 firms planning to reduce the number of staff.

●        Only 4% of SMEs expected they’d have to fold within the next five years.

●        Nearly three-quarters of respondents are planning for growth in the next few years.

●        Common routes to growth included increasing workforce skills, exploiting new markets, improving leadership and launching new products or services.

●        Businesses considered themselves ‘strong’ on many tasks, including people management (78%), making decisions on tax and regulation problems (73%), business strategy (61%) and operational improvement (61%). Only 28% said that their company excelled at entering new markets.


While the current government have undoubtedly helped maintain a pro-business environment in the UK, many SMEs face significant problems. Builders’ merchants are under increasing pressure from late payments and the associated cash flow issues, not to mention rising prices across a number of product areas.

Taking advantage of the many benefits that builders’ merchants software offers can help you overcome cash flow difficulties and improve stock management and efficiency in your business. Find out more about Integrity’s retail and point-of-sale software solutions.

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