With inflation hitting a 40-year high, it’s no wonder small businesses are struggling to stay afloat.
In the UK, it’s an ongoing battle for small businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic saw many businesses struggle to make ends meet. Those who were successful now face the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. Energy, transport, and interest rates have all increased in the last two years. As living necessities become more expensive, we spend our money with more precision.
At UTP, we strive to give our customers the best prices in the industry. We also offer further benefits which can help businesses out in these hard times.
If your business is struggling and you need support, the Government have schemes set in place. The Government can provide financial help and support for your small business through their website.
How is the cost-of-living crisis affecting small businesses?
In the UK, over 20,000 businesses have gone bust this year so far. This is a 72% increase from last year.
This is due to high inflation, soaring energy costs and increased transportation prices. Small and medium business owners faced an average gas bill increase of 250% last year.
To try and compensate for the increased costs, businesses have limited options. Many small businesses try to cut in-house costs, reducing opening times and staff perks. Businesses also raise the prices of goods and services for shoppers to try to keep profit rates.
Yet, the public are in the same situation as businesses. With the price of necessities increasing, luxuries and spontaneous purchases begin to take a back seat. With less disposable income, 67% of people are spending less on non-essential items. Falling demand for products adds further stress and worry to small businesses.
Limiting the impact
72% of small business owners have concerns about the survival of their business, due to the cost-of-living crisis. Here are three benefits UTP provides to combat the impact as much as possible.
1. Take charge of your finances
For many small businesses in the UK, soaring energy prices are the main contributor to the cost-of-living crisis.
We recommend looking at your existing energy provider to ensure you have got the best price. Comparative websites allow you to shop around and consider negotiating or switching providers. Small businesses should do the same with their material and product providers.
At UTP we are proud that our customers receive one of the lowest transaction rates in the industry. On average, we save our customers up to 30% per month on transaction fees. You can visit our website and get a free quote to see how much we can save your business per month.
Our Faster Processing solution provides our customers with faster payment options. Whilst other merchant services fund their customers within 4 days, we can give our customers their funds in hours. We offer three different funding methods for our customers. You have the choice to receive your funds per transaction, per hour or at the end of your working day. This payment method is considered essential for businesses that need to be funded quickly during these hard times.
2. Alternative ways of selling
For brick-and-mortar stores, it’s important to consider opening an eCommerce site. This has the potential to maximise revenue streams, as there will be more than one place customers can buy from. We provide our customers with an eCommerce Payment Gateway, at no monthly charge. This allows your customers to shop for goods and services on your website, 24/7. Your customers are able to pay by credit or debit card through our large range of off-the-shelf shopping cart solutions. With our eCommerce service you’ll reach more customers in more places.
Another way that your small business can attract more customers is by offering discounts. These discounts can be on stock that you are struggling to sell, or seasonal items. Discounts and promotions can work both in-store and online to reach a larger amount of people. Loyalty schemes can also be introduced to create customer loyalty and entice customers to return.
3. Protect your business
Unfortunately for small businesses, the cost-of-living crisis has clashed with an increase in digital crime. Almost half of all businesses in the UK have suffered security attacks or breaches. This created an average loss of £3,200 per business, equating to a £3 billion loss in total.
We offer UTP Shield as a free service to all our customers. This is our anti-fraud solution that protects our customers from both fraud and high chargebacks. Our service understands your business’s usual. Trading methods and hours and uses this information to detect suspicious activity. We are currently the only payment provider to offer this degree of security to businesses in the UK.
For small businesses in the UK, we understand that the last few years have been hard. With the cost-of-living crisis expected to last until 2024, it’s important for businesses to adapt. Our dedicated helpdesk is open seven days a week for businesses looking for advice or to join our company.