Diversification saving businesses
Over half (56 per cent) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the UK have taken deliberate steps to diversify their business in order to survive the recession according to new research by Aviva.
Diversification through new products or services, opening at weekends, trading for longer hours and targeting new customer groups were the most common actions taken by SMEs to weather the economic storm, compared to additional promotions and increased discounts (28 per cent).
Reducing staff pay, benefits and/or hours (18 per cent), and reducing the number of permanent staff employed (10 per cent) were other frequent actions taken by SME owners. Interestingly, only two per cent of those polled declared that they had applied for one of the Government’s business assistance programmes such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee.
David Bruce, commercial product manager at Aviva, comments: “Britain’s small business community remains entrepreneurial, creative and opportunist at heart, with an innate ability to be both flexible and versatile. The ability to anticipate and adapt to the changing environment is key for any successful business, and business owners are clearly leading the way in this regard.
“However, it is worrying to see how many businesses have admitted they have no insurance at all. If one of your staff, or a customer, has an accident at work it is unlikely you would be able to pay out a claim that could run into thousands of pounds yourself. Protecting what you’ve already got and what you’re trying to build for the future should be fundamental for any conscientious business owner.”
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