More than one in eight SMEs feel at risk of closing in 2013 - and our survival kit to help them

UK firms shelled out a record £4.9bn in redundancy payments in the year to 31 March 2012, according to research by law firm EMW. That's a 9% rise on the previous year and means that since the recession hit in 2008, businesses have paid out a huge £18.4bn in total. 

It seems the initial positivity we saw around New Year among small businesses is fading. More than one in eight small businesses feel under pressure to survive and believe they are at risk of going out of business in the next year, according to research from insurance firm Zurich.

The worry among small firms could be put down to the scare factor of high-profile businesses such as HMV and Jessops closing down after a poor Christmas period. It could also explain why fear of closing down among small and medium-sized retailers is especially high inn the survey, with over 20% now claiming to be at high risk. SMEs in the construction industry have the most fragile confidence, though, with 37% feeling like this year could be their last.

It's not all bad news though. To adapt and survive the murky economic outlook, small businesses are planning to invest, with 29% claiming "expanding the business in the UK" is a top priority for this year.

For those businesses fretting about their ability to survive or for those unfortunate companies who sadly have to make someone redundant, here's our quick-fire business survival kit:

  • It's an awful thing to have to do, but sometimes it's necessary to keep your business afloat. Here's our guide on how to make redundancies.
  • There are valid reasons that business owners are worried about the state of their business in 2013. However, this year still provides the perfect opportunity to launch or grow your business.
  • One in eight SME owners may be fearing the worst, but over half of business owners are actually expecting their businesses to grow in 2013.
  • Manage your cashflow effectively and your business is much more likely to survive 2013. Here's our guide on how to avoid overtrading.
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