Small businesses determined to survive

We’ve spoken to nearly 3,000 small business owners to find out how they’re responding to the current economic climate. Here’s what they had to say.

The key findings of our Small Business Confidence Index shows that small businesses are determined to survive the economic crisis and have adopted a resilient attitude to keeping afloat.

Other points from the survey include:

  • Despite 49% feeling their confidence was at an all time low, 66% of owners are determined to make it through the downturn
  • 21% have forecast growth over the next six months, 7% say their business has been unaffected by the recession and 5% see the current climate as an exciting challenge
  • The greatest threats to survival are concerns over cash flow and a lack of support from banks
  • Small businesses are hoping the government will help businesses get finance, with cuts in corporation tax and commercial rates seen as ways to improve levels of confidence
  • 62% haven’t noticed a change in their banks lending policies, with 2% saying they had benefited by receiving a loan
  • 39% are planning a headcount freeze while 11% plan to make redundancies
  • 17% are looking for smaller premises and 13% have not renewed a lease on their premises and are working from home
  • 49% are continuing to spend on IT, with iPhones and BlackBerry smart phones seen as the most popular products

We’re reacting to what our survey’s shown by launching three new Business Flexibility packages to help small businesses be more flexible while saving money. Each of these packages is tailored to offer small businesses more options. One offers a SIM only small business tariff, the second allows small businesses to easily switch to consumer tariffs and the third lets small businesses reduce the number of mobile numbers it owns without incurring termination fees.

Simon Devonshire, our Head of Small Business Marketing, said “As a business, O2 is committed to helping its small business customers and making it easier for them to manage costs effectively and get from their mobile services exactly what they need.”

To read more quotes from Simon, David Molian from Cranfield School of Management’s Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurial Performance & Economics or order a copy of the O2 Small Business Confidence Index, visit our Media Centre.