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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 12, 2016

1 in 5 SMEs still rely on pen and paper to run their business

Imagine being unable to monitor your business' most basic finances or business projections. According to new research from payments processing firm Worldpay, that is how it is for a large proportion of SMEs in the UK.

by Helen Leggatt

A lack of awareness among small business owners of the tools and technologies available to help monitor and manage basic factors such as revenue, profit, and top-selling items, as well as planning and projections, means many are persevering with "time-consuming manual processes, which they struggle to keep up to date", says Worldpay. In fact, one in five small business owners admit to using nothing more than pen and paper to run their business, spending twice the amount of time on finance and admin than they do on selling

Worldpay's recent research* also found that nearly half (48%) of SMEs in the UK are unable to identify their top ten customers and their ordering habits, while 40% can not provide revenue or profit forecasts. Almost two-thirds (62%) are unable to identify their three top-selling items and 57% can not pinpoint their busiest trading day.

"We already know that small business owners spend twice the amount of time on finance and admin than they do on selling. This unhealthy balance means many business owners feel compelled to cut back on paperwork, even when it leaves them with nothing but a blank sheet of paper to work from when it comes to forecasting," says Worldpay's UK Managing Director, Dave Hobday.

*Survey of 500 UK small business owners (less than 50 employees) carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of Worldpay, June 2015.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: payment technology, small business, SME, technology, UK

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