Over three quarters of South East SME business owners have no plan to help them cope with disruption, according to a new study by top 15 UK chartered accountants Haines Watts.
Michael Davidson, Regional Managing Partner, said: “While worries around disruption are almost universal, just 14% of leaders have a plan. Most aren’t acting proactively – admitting they haven’t thought about disruption or have considered it but not done anything – instead they’re waiting to see what happens, and then hope to respond after the event.”
A common concern was government-related disruption, including legislation and regulatory changes that will impact the way owners do business. More traditional forms of disruption which also place highly include competition from larger businesses entering the market (48%) and changing customer expectations (34%).
Michael Davidson adds: “While fears around regulatory changes are exceptionally high, owners may not be concerned enough about the issues that will threaten their own business model. These should also include cyber security and the threats posed by a breach such as the one experienced by the NHS earlier this year.”
The type of disruption that makes headlines the most – that of radical new business models – featured comparatively low down in South East business owners’ concerns, with just a third (36%) citing this as a worry. Fear over new technologies disrupting markets is even lower at 14%.
Michael Davidson continues: “It’s hard to envisage how threats like new technology could unfold when the challenges they pose are only partly visible, but that doesn’t mean that preparation can’t get under way. There are steps every business can and should take to prepare the ground for the changes that will come.”
While disruption can be intimidating, and the difficulty of preparing concerning, it can also be positive. Over a third (34%) of business owners say that disruption makes them more determined and 36% claim that it fuels their ambition. Companies should certainly put plans in place to mitigate the risks that could present themselves. Taking advice from experts outside your business can help to pinpoint areas where action is needed.
For further information and details about the Haines Watts Group and its offices please visit www.hwca.com