Saffery Champness Chartered Accountants have announced that they are to host an entrepreneurs’ dinner to discuss and debate the results of the firm’s annual Entrepreneurs Survey.
The recently published survey results incorporated the views of more than 200 business owners and key decision makers in the UK. The survey was conducted during the second quarter of 2017, before the June general election, reflecting the mood of UK entrepreneurs almost one year after the EU referendum result.
Levels of confidence
In the previous survey conducted by Safferys, 67% of entrepreneurs had said that they would vote to remain in the EU. The decision to leave the EU as a result of the subsequent referendum has, however, not dented the confidence of UK entrepreneurs, it would seem – 82% of respondents in 2017 stated that they were either very or quite confident that they would achieve their business objectives over the next 12 months. This compares to 78% in the 2015 survey.
The uncertainty caused by the June 2017 general election does, however, seem to have had a slight dampening effect on confidence. The 82% referred to above is made up of only 22% ‘very confident’, with 60% being merely ‘quite confident’. Furthermore, when asked how this compares to their level of confidence last year, only 37% are more confident and exactly half feel the same as they did last year.
Saffery Partner Roger Wareham commented, “It will be interesting to see how confidence levels change as Brexit negotiations progress and our formal exit from the EU in 2019 approaches.”
What support do entrepreneurs wants?
Almost two-thirds of respondents want the government to reduce bureaucracy and regulations – one of the key arguments promoted by those campaigning to leave the EU. Survey respondents were clear in how they believe the government can best help them meet their longer-term business objectives; 55% want further tax incentives, 63% want less bureaucracy and few regulations, 34% want a skills shortage tackled and 34% want improved infrastructure.
Roger Warehem advised, “Only time will tell if the UK’s break from Brussels will reduce the regulatory burden on UK entrepreneurs. Requests for tax incentives, addressing the skills shortage and improving infrastructure will prove to be challenging for the new government. It will be interesting to see how they respond to these calls.”
Approach to risk
Entrepreneurs are often considered to be risk takers. However, 68% of respondents described their approach to business risk as being ‘medium’ (risk neutral). 26% of the entrepreneurs that were surveyed said that they adopt a high- risk approach, with the remaining 6% adopting a low risk approach.
Roger added, “We are currently talking to colleagues in our international network about their experience of working with entrepreneurs. Some of them will be asking similar questions to their entrepreneur client bases. It will be interesting to see how the UK survey results, including the approach to risk, compare with entrepreneur groups in other countries, so watch this space for further analysis.
“Our Entrepreneurs’ Dinner and debate should prove extremely interesting to discuss the impact of the results of the election on the reported survey results and see if this has changed entrepreneurs’ perception and reality locally in the South.”
Working with Saffery Champness Accountants – Roger Wareham
“The entrepreneurs we work with appreciate the fact that we share their passion and energy for business. We understand their drive to maximise enterprise value and we take time to consider the personal and commercial goals that motivate them.
“A core part of our offering to our entrepreneurial clients is a tax advisory and compliance service that ensures that everything they do, whether in their businesses or when looking at their private and family wealth, is planned and structured to be as tax efficient as possible, without ever losing sight of their immediate or longer term commercial and broader personal objectives.
Our partner-led approach means that one of our partners is always available to offer valuable strategic advice, alongside the everyday work that business owners expect from their accountancy advisers.
“By getting to know our clients well, we can advise them according to their individual aspirations, whether that be to prepare for sale, provide for their families or create an environment that allows them to continue working in the business for many years to come.”