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Hello everyone - been a while since I posted and I hope you're all doing really well.

I thought I'd share some of my insights as someone running a marketing and advertising business promoting SMEs to each other across the UK.

Business at our end is going pretty well. After swallowing a lot of Dutch Courage, I finally grew the company from 13 to 32 and it has paid dividends - the expansion showed overall profit after 3 months even after all the expenses incurred.

I was working on the theory that, as an office based business using telesales as its main marketing method, we could try to lock in profits (or guarantee smaller losses) by having more people selling. The theory being that it is easier to break even if 23 people are trying to raise £20,000 a week to breakeven than 10 people trying to reach £13,000.

Profit per week per person is continuing to fall slightly but even a poor performance puts us over the top now. There seems to be a downward shift in price in marketing and advertising which we're trying to resist as much as possible.

I know this type of model can not be operated for all types of business so it's not really advice I can pass on as such.

Our accountants and bank managers continue to report that there is widespread problems across the SME sector. Very few companies have savings now and, according to the accountants, most are fearful of the day which may come when their overdraft is reduced or removed because that is what is currently keeping the company afloat.

How's your SME doing, whether you own it or work for it?

I'm going to stick my neck on the line and say that we're still in the eye of the storm and things will be vagely positive over at least the next 6-12 months.

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How's your SME doing, whether you own it or work for it?

I work for a ~15 year old small company (~30 employee) with turnover of £3m-4m. 2008-9 was bad, 2009-11 is setting profit records. The low £ is helping a lot with exports (approx half of sales).

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I work in the charity sector. Income (donations) stopped growing in 2008 and have remained flat since. The present outlook isn't good though - we benefit from the admin fees from gap year students volunteering at our overseas projects and none have signed up this year becuase they're beating the uni fee increase instead. The amount of Gift Aid we can reclaim on donations has also now caught up with recent changes, falling from 28% to 25%. A rise in IRs would also provide a welcome boost to the funds that trusts who support our work have available.

Edited by rantnrave

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RE the numerous conference centres, hotels, restaurants I work for. Things are deteriorating rapidly. Inflation and stagnant / falling wages eating away at disposable income. Businesses / pub sector simply cannot afford conferences. Never seen anything like it.

Edited by gruffydd

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Hello everyone - been a while since I posted and I hope you're all doing really well.

I thought I'd share some of my insights as someone running a marketing and advertising business promoting SMEs to each other across the UK.

Business at our end is going pretty well. After swallowing a lot of Dutch Courage, I finally grew the company from 13 to 32 and it has paid dividends - the expansion showed overall profit after 3 months even after all the expenses incurred.

I was working on the theory that, as an office based business using telesales as its main marketing method, we could try to lock in profits (or guarantee smaller losses) by having more people selling. The theory being that it is easier to break even if 23 people are trying to raise £20,000 a week to breakeven than 10 people trying to reach £13,000.

Profit per week per person is continuing to fall slightly but even a poor performance puts us over the top now. There seems to be a downward shift in price in marketing and advertising which we're trying to resist as much as possible.

I know this type of model can not be operated for all types of business so it's not really advice I can pass on as such.

Our accountants and bank managers continue to report that there is widespread problems across the SME sector. Very few companies have savings now and, according to the accountants, most are fearful of the day which may come when their overdraft is reduced or removed because that is what is currently keeping the company afloat.

How's your SME doing, whether you own it or work for it?

I'm going to stick my neck on the line and say that we're still in the eye of the storm and things will be vagely positive over at least the next 6-12 months.

I am employing telemarketing people for first time in long time, for clients. You can measure ROI. That's what people want above all else at the moment.

Edited by gruffydd

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Hello everyone - been a while since I posted and I hope you're all doing really well.

I thought I'd share some of my insights as someone running a marketing and advertising business promoting SMEs to each other across the UK.

Business at our end is going pretty well. After swallowing a lot of Dutch Courage, I finally grew the company from 13 to 32 and it has paid dividends - the expansion showed overall profit after 3 months even after all the expenses incurred.

I was working on the theory that, as an office based business using telesales as its main marketing method, we could try to lock in profits (or guarantee smaller losses) by having more people selling. The theory being that it is easier to break even if 23 people are trying to raise £20,000 a week to breakeven than 10 people trying to reach £13,000.

Profit per week per person is continuing to fall slightly but even a poor performance puts us over the top now. There seems to be a downward shift in price in marketing and advertising which we're trying to resist as much as possible.

I know this type of model can not be operated for all types of business so it's not really advice I can pass on as such.

Our accountants and bank managers continue to report that there is widespread problems across the SME sector. Very few companies have savings now and, according to the accountants, most are fearful of the day which may come when their overdraft is reduced or removed because that is what is currently keeping the company afloat.

How's your SME doing, whether you own it or work for it?

I'm going to stick my neck on the line and say that we're still in the eye of the storm and things will be vagely positive over at least the next 6-12 months.

I work for a risk engineering consultancy and we provide risk management services to the insurance industry and large multinationals (despite some on here who think I am an EA). There are 5 of us and we turnover around £1.2m, T/O has been similar over the past few years. The insurance industry continues to make money, albeit we are still trapped in a soft market. Following the events in Japan, rates are likely to pick up slowly albeit not hardening overall and therefore many will continue to 'buy' insurance rather than risk management services (which we offer).

I guess insurance is a relatively stable sector and hopefully we will be able to continue to grow the business as we have been. Fortunately the only debt we have are a few cars on finance, otherwise we keep a good chunk of cash in the bank for a rainy day.

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Shipment volumes are too small and cash flow too lumpy for my business to provide sensible data.

More sensible data is provided by my suppliers who generally have larger volumes and constant business (for example if I can get stuff done quickly or not is a big indication of demand).

In general precision maching still seems to be strongly on the up, all the people I know have a lot of work on and its hard to get stuff done at short notice. Same for sheet metalworking.

Electronic components its harder to say. Specialist stuff (military spec etc) seems easy to get, probably because of defence project cancellations. No special offers from the primary suppliers, which tends to indicate things are going well for them. I've seen no serious impact from the Tsunami on component supply, except in a few easy to replace items. Component suppliers have been helpful in identifying components likely to be hit.

Specialist materials (rare earths etc) seem to have very long lead times and seem difficult to get.

Any IT stuff I need doing seems easy, with an army of people out there clamouring for the work.

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I work for an energy trading consultancy and we are doing well from energy companies but mostly from the banks.

As far as IT jobs similar to mine, there are loads and loads asking for my skills and with very good salaries.

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I work for an energy trading consultancy and we are doing well from energy companies but mostly from the banks.

As far as IT jobs similar to mine, there are loads and loads asking for my skills and with very good salaries.

I'm also seeing strength in the high skill IT/Engineering Sector (typically £60k+), a lot of competition for good people is actually driving up wages for new hires, in part this because UK universities are now not providing sufficient science graduates that want to stay in the UK. As the boomers go, this is driving shortages.

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I work for (and part own) a 60-person, £6m-income software house. Sales in North America are strong, UK much weaker, ROW weaker still. 90% of revenue is coming from the USA at the moment. Overall we are PANDL break-even but extremely cash rich due to our business model which involves billing up to 3 years ahead of delivery for support contracts.

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Most of the people I know are self employed many have been over many years...they are doing ok, it pays the bills with sometimes a bit extra to play with, customer loyalty is key, people are looking for reliability, customer service, do what you say you do plus a bit more, never over promise and under deliver....less debt = more profit....

.....turnover is vanity, profit is the prince but cash is the king. ;)

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Most of the people I know are self employed many have been over many years...they are doing ok, it pays the bills with sometimes a bit extra to play with, customer loyalty is key, people are looking for reliability, customer service, do what you say you do plus a bit more, never over promise and under deliver....less debt = more profit....

.....turnover is vanity, profit is the prince but cash is the king. ;)

Car Sales...turnover down 50% on 2010.profit down 80%.very much in line with competitors although my profit is holding up better than many who are firmly in the red.Businesses beginning to close now as they cut and run.I will do the same I think and live off capital.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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