UK Small Business Overview Market Report
Everything you need to make the right decisions
Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Small Business Overview market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.
Mintel has the answers you’re looking for
What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?
Key points covered
- Brexit – more or less important to small businesses than multi-nationals?
- How do potential suppliers reach small businesses?
What you need to know
Over 99% of companies in the UK are small businesses, representing more than 5.7 million companies. They are highly significant to the economy, accounting for 34.5% of overall turnover at £1428.4 billion. They also account for 39% of all employment in the UK. The turnover growth achieved by small businesses reached 19.4% between 2014 and 2018. This growth outpaced the development of large businesses, where growth was restricted to less than 14% over the period. Between 2014 and 2018, the turnover of sole traders increased by 17.3%, while other micro companies achieved growth of 27% and other small companies saw turnover rise by 15%. In contrast to mediumterm developments, sole trader income grew by less than 1% in 2018, while the sales of other micro companies fell by 4%, but other small businesses achieved growth of more than 9%, well ahead of wider economic developments.
Small businesses are active in every sector of commerce and industry. By far the largest market for them is the wholesale and retail sector, which is more than twice the size of any other market for small businesses. Construction is another industry where small businesses gain appreciable turnover, with tradesmen often operating directly to customers or through subcontracted assignments.
Regional data is only available for the private sector, but this covers 98% of the turnover of small companies. Unsurprisingly, London is the most important region for the small business sector, accounting for almost 30% of entire UK output. However, the role of small businesses in London - at 39% of the region’s economy - is far lower than other areas. In Northern Ireland, small businesses account for half the economy, while, by contrast, in North East England, they only account for 24% of the local economy.
Expert analysis from a specialist in the field
Written by Terry Leggett, a leading analyst in the B2B sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.
Over 99% of companies in the UK are small businesses. There are more than 5.7 million and they account for 34.5% of the overall economy, at £1,428.4 billion. They also account for 39% of all employment in the UK. In the last five years, their overall turnover growth has outperformed large corporates - at 19.4% compared with 14%, and their combined turnover is more than double medium-sized enterprises. However, they form a notoriously difficult sector for B2B marketers to target because of their disparity.
Senior B2B Analyst
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