The latest stats for UK businesses are out, and I think they’re really interesting. Did you know there are now nearly 6 million businesses operating in the UK? That’s a staggering number when you think about it. That’s almost 1 business for every 10 people.
And these are just the active ones with employees – there are a further 4 million businesses with no employees (i.e. registered at Companies House, but don’t actively trade).
Other interesting bits of analysis from this data:
- No evidence that Covid is having long-term impact on UK business survival: While the pandemic has seen some businesses cease trading, there’s no evidence that it has had a long-term significant impact on business survival. Flexible working, furlough and loan schemes appear to have alleviated much of the potential damage. And there’s still a steady stream of new businesses being born, just as there was pre-pandemic.
- Almost all UK businesses are either home-based or small companies, with no more than 9 employees: Only 5% of businesses have 10 or more employees, and fewer than 1% have more than 50. Small businesses outnumber large ones 625 to 1.
- We’re massively dependent on the service sector: Service industries account for 76% of businesses. Only 10% are retail businesses and just 5% are manufacturing companies. We are no longer a nation of shopkeepers, and it’s true we don’t make much anymore.
- UK business leadership continues to lack diversity: Disappointingly, in the UK, only 16% of SMEs employers were led by women, and only 6% by ethnic minorities.
Important lessons from the data
As a specialist B2B researcher, even I’m surprised at just how small the UK manufacturing sector has become, and by how few large businesses there are.
Despite the evidence, many companies continue to focus their efforts on large companies and set their B2B strategy around them. However, if your business is looking to grow and become successful, you need to turn your attention to the 5 million+ start ups and small businesses.
And that goes for most consumer brands, too. With more than 1 in 10 homes also operating businesses, the home-based business market is now bigger than ever. Is your consumer marketing set up to win among home businesses?