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UK Small Business Overview Market Report

Covered in this report

Small businesses account for a very significant part of the UK economy. There are more than 5.9 million such companies, accounting for 99% of all businesses operating in the UK. They also account for 35% of all turnover and 39% of all employment. Yet the sector is one of the hardest for companies to target as a market economically. This is because the sector is not only highly fragmented, but it is anything but homogenous.

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.

The small business sector is hugely diverse. While elements of the sector will grow and develop into medium/large businesses, this is not the sole objective of all small businesses. Economic marketing to the sector can be difficult partly because of the fragmentation and partly because the diverse objectives need to be recognised Terry Leggett
Senior B2B Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Figure 1: Definition of company sizes (number of staff and millions of euros for turnover or balance sheet)
    • Executive Summary

        • The market
          • Small businesses outperform other companies
            • Figure 2: Comparison of turnover development of small businesses, and medium and large enterprises, 2015-19
            • Figure 3: Turnover analysis of small businesses, by size of company, 2015-19
          • Strong position in the non-profit sector
            • Major turnover from wholesale/retail and construction
              • Figure 4: Breakdown of small business turnover, by sector, 2019
            • Highest market penetration in agriculture
              • Figure 5: Sector penetration of small businesses, by sector, 2019
            • London, the major regional market
              • Figure 6: Regional breakdown of small business turnover in the private sector, by region, 2019
            • Highest penetration is in Northern Ireland
              • Figure 7: economic penetration of regions by small businesses in the private sector, 2019
            • Companies and brands
              • Hugely fragmented sector
                • Figure 8: Analysis of the small business sector, by number of companies, 2019
                • Figure 9: Analysis of legal status of small businesses, 2019 (number)
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • The clouds are clearing the way for SMEs
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • The under-used e-commerce opportunity
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • An important sector to the economy
                              • Very diverse sector involvement
                                • Geographically diverse too
                                • Market Size

                                  • Small businesses bounce back
                                    • Figure 10: Turnover development of small businesses, 2015-19
                                  • Small businesses outperforming the market in the medium term
                                    • Figure 11: Comparison of turnover development of small businesses, and medium and large enterprises, 2015-19
                                  • The role of the small business
                                    • Figure 12: The role of the small business, 2019
                                • Market Segmentation by Size of Company

                                  • Micro companies fuel turnover growth
                                    • Figure 13: Turnover analysis of small businesses, by size of company, 2015-19
                                  • Private sector dominates activity
                                  • Market Segmentation by Industry

                                    • Overview
                                      • Figure 14: Breakdown of small business turnover, by sector, 2019
                                      • Figure 15: Sector penetration of small businesses, by sector, 2019
                                    • The role of the sole trader
                                      • Figure 16: Sector penetration of sole traders, by sector, 2019
                                    • Other micro businesses
                                      • Figure 17: Sector penetration of other micro companies, by sector, 2019
                                    • Other small businesses
                                      • Figure 18: Sector penetration of other small companies, by sector, 2019
                                    • Agriculture, forestry and fishing
                                      • Figure 19: Breakdown of the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                    • Mining and quarrying, utilities and waste
                                      • Figure 20: Breakdown of the mining and quarrying, utilities and waste sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                    • Manufacturing
                                      • Figure 21: Breakdown of the manufacturing sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                    • Construction
                                      • Figure 22: Breakdown of the construction sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                    • Wholesale and retail
                                      • Figure 23: Breakdown of the wholesale and retail sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                    • Transportation and storage
                                      • Figure 24: Breakdown of the transportation and storage sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                    • Accommodation and food services
                                      • Figure 25: Breakdown of the accommodation and food service sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                    • Information and communication
                                      • Figure 26: Breakdown of the information and communication sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                    • Financial and insurance activities
                                      • Real estate
                                        • Figure 27: Breakdown of the real estate sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • Professional, scientific and technical activities
                                        • Figure 28: Breakdown of the professional, scientific and technical activities sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • Administrative and support services
                                        • Figure 29: Breakdown of the administrative and support services sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • Education
                                        • Figure 30: Breakdown of the education sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • Human health and social work activities
                                        • Figure 31: Breakdown of the human health and social work sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • Arts, entertainment and recreation
                                        • Figure 32: Breakdown of the arts, entertainment and recreation sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • Other service activities
                                        • Figure 33: Breakdown of the other service activities sector turnover, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                    • Market Segmentation by Region

                                      • Overview
                                        • Figure 34: Regional breakdown of small business turnover in the private sector, by region, 2019
                                        • Figure 35: economic penetration of regions by small businesses in the private sector, 2019
                                      • Sole traders
                                        • Figure 36: economic penetration of regions by sole traders in the private sector, 2019
                                      • Other micro businesses
                                        • Figure 37: economic penetration of regions by other micro businesses in the private sector, 2019
                                      • Other small businesses
                                        • Figure 38: economic penetration of regions by other small businesses in the private sector, 2019
                                      • North East
                                        • Figure 39: Breakdown of the North East economy, by size of company, 2019
                                      • North West
                                        • Figure 40: Breakdown of the North West economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • Yorkshire and the Humber
                                        • Figure 41: Breakdown of the Yorkshire and the Humber economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • East Midlands
                                        • Figure 42: Breakdown of the East Midlands economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • West Midlands
                                        • Figure 43: Breakdown of the West Midlands economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • East of England
                                        • Figure 44: Breakdown of the East of England economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • London
                                        • Figure 45: Breakdown of the London economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • South East
                                        • Figure 46: Breakdown of the South East economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • South West
                                        • Figure 47: Breakdown of the South West economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • Wales
                                        • Figure 48: Breakdown of the Wales economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • Scotland
                                        • Figure 49: Breakdown of the Scotland economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                      • Northern Ireland
                                        • Figure 50: Breakdown of the Northern Ireland economy, by size of company, 2019 (£ billion)
                                    • The Impact of the Economy

                                      • GDP
                                        • Figure 51: Quarterly GDP development, Q1 2015-Q2 2019
                                        • Figure 52: GDP quarterly development, by sector, 2004-19
                                        • Figure 53: Forecast GDP development, 2019-23
                                    • Market Trends

                                      • Business churn
                                        • Figure 54: Business births and deaths, 2012-17
                                        • Figure 55: Business start-ups in the UK, by sector, 2015-17 (000s)
                                        • Figure 56: Business deaths in the UK, by sector, 2017
                                        • Figure 57: Business start-ups in the UK, by Region, 2013-17
                                      • Employment costs
                                        • National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
                                          • Figure 58: The development of the NMW and NLW, 1999-2019 (£s per hour rate)
                                        • Workplace pensions
                                          • Figure 59: Composition and progression of workplace pension contributions, 2012-19 (% of earnings)
                                        • Apprenticeship Levy
                                          • Other costs – business rates
                                            • Remote working
                                              • Figure 60: Number of homeworkers in the UK, 2012-18
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • The Brexit issues
                                              • Figure 61: SME expected impact of Brexit, 2019
                                              • Figure 62: Proportion of SMEs with international staff, by company size, 2019
                                              • Figure 63: Proportion of companies exporting, by company size, 2019
                                            • Access to finance
                                              • Figure 64: Proportion of small companies reporting a funding need, by size of company and quarter, 2018-19
                                              • Figure 65: Reasons for small business funding need, year ending Q2 2019 (% of companies with funding need)
                                              • Figure 66: Likely funding requirement of small businesses with a need for funding, year ending Q2 2019 (% of companies with a funding need)
                                              • Figure 67: Steps taken by small businesses with a need for funding, year ending Q2 2019 (% of companies with a funding need)
                                            • Small business grants
                                              • Digital developments
                                                • Internet access and usage
                                                  • Figure 68: Worldwide Internet usage, BY region 2010-19 (Millions and %)
                                                • Broadband
                                                  • Figure 69: Proportion of businesses with Internet access and type of connection, by number of employees, 2013-17 (%)
                                                  • Figure 70: Proportion of businesses by maximum contracted internet connection speed, by number of employees, 2013-17 (%)
                                                • Websites
                                                  • Figure 71: Proportion of companies operating a website, by size of company, 2017
                                                • Cloud computing
                                                  • Figure 72: Cloud services penetration, by company size, 2017
                                                • Serviced offices
                                                    • Figure 73: Market for serviced offices, 2014-18 actual and 2019-24 forecast
                                                • Industry Structure

                                                  • Industry composition
                                                    • Figure 74: Analysis of the small business sector, by number of companies, 2019
                                                    • Figure 75: Analysis of the small business sector, by employment, 2019 (000s employed)
                                                    • Figure 76: Analysis of the small business sector, by turnover, 2019 (£ billion)
                                                  • Activities
                                                    • Figure 77: Activity breakdown of small businesses, by sector, 2019
                                                  • Regional activity
                                                    • Figure 78: Regional breakdown of small businesses, by region, 2019
                                                  • Legal status
                                                    • Figure 79: Analysis of legal status of small businesses, 2019 (number)
                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                      • Methodology

                                                      About the report

                                                      This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                      • The Consumer

                                                        What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                      • The Competitors

                                                        Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                      • The Market

                                                        Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                      • The Innovations

                                                        New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                      • The Opportunities

                                                        Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                      • The Trends

                                                        What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                      Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                      Description