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Bibby Financial Services: Recession Spawns New Breed Of Business Owner
[March 15, 2009]

Bibby Financial Services: Recession Spawns New Breed Of Business Owner

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) RDATE:16032009 Natural selection is not only confined to the theories of Darwin according to a new study which has unearthed a new breed of business owner, fit to survive the current recession and well into the future.

The research*, from leading independent invoice financier Bibby Financial Services, revealed that these 'super entrepreneurs' are evolving because of the downturn, with 79 per cent of small and medium-sized firms making, or planning to make, positive steps in order to survive and face economic uncertainty head on.

Cash is king when it comes to this new business breed with 69 per cent of owners and managers claiming the recession has encouraged them to keep a closer eye on their finances. With seven in 10 firms experiencing a deterioration in their ability to access finance**, it's easy to see why issues surrounding the management of late payment and improving cash flow top the priority list.

The figures also show flexibility is key to survival with 84 per cent of owners and managers also making positive changes specifically in relation to their clients/customers and suppliers. Of those businesses evolving, over half (56 per cent) have been able to negotiate better terms with their suppliers, and the same number (56 per cent) have managed to pursue new business opportunities. In addition, 39 per cent have become more open and transparent when it comes to their business plans with clients and customers alike, resulting in a new flexible and more honest breed of business owner and manager.

However, as well as the positives, many businesses are having to resort to more drastic measures when it comes to surviving the downturn.

Thirty seven per cent are cutting their marketing or advertising and 33 per cent are even going as far as to use their personal savings to ensure the existence of their business. Furthermore 28 per cent are, sadly, scaling back on production and 26 per cent are having to bring services back in-house. Seven per cent are downsizing premises or cutting office spend altogether and opting to run the business from home.

Ed Rimmer, chief executive UK and Ireland for Bibby Financial Services said:"Regardless of size or industry sector, this research highlights the flexibility and diversification tactics that British businesses are being forced to learn in order to survive the downturn. With so many businesses taking positive steps to adapt to survive, it's clear that stronger, more experienced entrepreneurs will emerge from these tough times. The message to those who are not taking proactive steps is that this is no time to be complacent - reviewing suppliers, finances, and in particular cash flow even now may prove vital to the survival of many of the UK's small and medium-sized businesses." The profile of the new breed of business owner According to the results of the study, the typical profile of this newly evolved super-entrepreneur is most likely to be: - Female - Aged between 45 and 54 - Living in the South East - Have started their business between 1995 and 1999 - Running a business with a turnover of between GBP250,000 and GBP500,000 - Running a business that employs five or more people - Experienced in two previous downturns including this one Indeed, it seems financial prudence divides the sexes when it comes to implementing change and potentially being fittest for survival in the future. Seventy two per cent of women are more cautious about their finances compared to 67 per cent of men, and one in three women says they have, or will develop, their understanding of financial management, whereas among their male counterparts this figure is just one in five.

Experience counts The figures also show there is no substitute for experience - over half (54 per cent) of business owners and managers have never experienced a prior recession or downturn. But it is business owners who have ridden out past downturns who are more likely to be scrutinising their finances more carefully, with 81 per cent of business owners who've experienced a number of downturns since the early 1980s paying more attention to finances compared to just 64 per cent of those who've experienced this recession only. However, 35 per cent of those who started their business in the last three years know they need to develop their understanding of financial management.

Ed Rimmer added:"There's no doubt times are tough for small and medium sized businesses. Many will simply be fighting for survival rather than being able to take the time to look at what changes are necessary.

However, even just taking a few minutes a day to look at the business in a fresh light and explore any potential new survival strategies could mean the difference between having a successful business in a year's time or not." With the research showing finance is clearly the key concern for these struggling businesses, Bibby Financial Services is on hand to provide flexible cash flow funding solutions and is currently helping more than 3,000 businesses, handling client turnover of more than GBP3.9billion and advancing over GBP300million to help small and medium-sized firms realise their potential.

Unlike many other institutions and banks which are tightening their belts to cope with the current economic climate, as the largest independent invoice finance provider in the UK, Bibby Financial Services has recently secured a significantly enlarged funding facility and its doors are very much open for business.

Notes to editors *Research was conducted on behalf of Bibby Financial Services by Continental Research among 301 owners or managers of small and medium sized businesses (i.e. businesses with a turnover between GBP50,000 and GBP1m) across the UK between 2 and 6 February 2009.

**Figures according to the CBI's Access to Finance February survey published 4 March 2009 Bibby Financial Services is a market-leading specialist in the provision of a range of business cash flow solutions to small and medium sized enterprises. Its product portfolio includes invoice finance, export finance, trade services, asset and lease finance, construction finance, recruitment finance, bodyshop finance and a range of business support solutions across a wide range of industry sectors.

As a global services provider, Bibby Financial Services has a network of 16 operating units throughout the UK and Ireland, and also has companies in Germany, Poland, France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, USA, Canada, Australia and India offering a local, fast and flexible approach to servicing clients.

Bibby Line Group is a business-to-business services group involved in ship-owning and operation, shallow water accommodation, offshore oil field services, contract logistics, financial services, memorial parks, employment law and health & safety advisory services, and retail. The company was founded by Liverpool entrepreneur John Bibby in 1807 and has its head office in Duke Street, Liverpool.

CONTACT: Claire Forster, Bray Leino PR Tel: +44 (0)117 9731 173 e-mail: [email protected] Claire Forster, Public Relations, Bray Leino Tel: +44 (0)117 9731 173 Tel: +44 (0)117 906 4525 Fax: +44 (0)117 946 6664 e-mail: [email protected] WWW: Bibby Financial Services ((M2 Communications Ltd disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties.

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