Excessive inflation is by far the most important problem on SME’s minds over the subsequent 12 months.

Thats the findings WorkLife’s newest Small Enterprise Monitor has revealed.

Greater than a 3rd of smaller companies WorkLife engaged with cited inflation as one of many prime three challenges going through their enterprise over the subsequent 12 months. Following this have been a spread of different operational considerations, together with provide chain complexities and rising enterprise charges. Individuals administration points have been additionally excessive on the agenda, with taking care of worker wellbeing and sourcing and recruiting high quality expertise additionally being cited as pertinent challenges.

A lot additional down the record have been slowing shopper demand, geopolitical dangers, and different monetary points corresponding to having access to loans or over drafts and paying again Covid-19 assist loans.

With so many SMEs feeling the pinch from sky-high inflation, it’s doable costs may rise even additional for shoppers. Greater than a 3rd of SMEs say they are going to be trying to improve the price of merchandise and / or providers within the face of rising inflation, whereas an identical quantity have been exploring cheaper technique of sourcing items and providers wanted to run the enterprise.

The analysis discovered that SMEs’ funding plans is also hit arduous. Virtually a fifth of respondents mentioned have been placing plans to spend money on the enterprise on maintain attributable to excessive inflation, whereas 13% have been scrapping funding plans altogether.

For some staff, redundancies or cuts to working hours may very well be on the horizon. Whereas 1 in 10 (10%) of companies anticipated to put off workers on account of rising inflation, the identical quantity mentioned they have been taking a look at decreasing hours. Some 7% have been taking a look at decreasing salaries and advantages, nevertheless it’s not all doom and gloom, with 11% of companies anticipating to broaden pay and rewards.

Regardless of the specter of inflation, there’s a vital uplift in optimism concerning revenue compared with earlier waves of the analysis. Virtually 4 in 10 SMEs count on income to extend within the subsequent 12 months, in contrast with simply 26% in Summer season 2021. A lesser variety of companies count on it to cut back, whereas 25% predict revenue will stay on the identical stage.

Niamh McLaughlin, Managing Director of WorkLife by OpenMoney, commented: “Whereas there’s clear positivity from SMEs by way of enterprise revenue, the outlook stays very unclear two years on from the primary UK lockdown. Not solely are smaller companies feeling the consequences of rising costs and payments, they’re additionally grappling with points corresponding to provide chain constraints and labour shortages.

“Notably for companies being pressured to place funding plans on maintain, it’s of upmost significance to make sure any obtainable price range is being allotted to the areas that may have the most important influence on the general well being of the enterprise. How employers assist workers handle the influence of inflation on their very own funds may properly influence their choice to remain and try to assist the corporate long-term, so a sturdy pay and advantages technique is actually not an space to be missed proper now.”