Skip to main content
We're here with practical information for your business. Learn about business planning, running a business and more.


For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Small firms are gloomy about prospects for 2019

17 December 2018

Small firms are gloomy about prospects for 2019Despite stable economic conditions, there has been a sharp fall in confidence among small businesses because of concerns about Brexit.

The Q3 SME Health Check Index, published by banking group CYBG in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), has found that while the UK economy has gained momentum, there has been a sharp drop in SME confidence.

The study shoes that the UK economy has grown by 0.6%, the fastest rate of quarterly growth rate since 2016. Four out of eight performance indicators show improvement - capacity, employment, gross domestic product and net business creation; the Index score for lending remained unchanged.

However, SME confidence has fallen sharply by 23 points to 34 ‐ the third lowest ever recorded. Of the other research indicators, business costs and revenue have also worsened. It means that the Q3 Health Check Index is at its second lowest level since data collection began in 2014.

Six UK regions saw their SME Health Check Index score decline in Q3, largely because of business cost inflation and weakening confidence. Yorkshire and the Humber recorded the largest fall, following three consecutive quarters of improvement.

Bucking the trend, the North West of England saw its Index score rising by 13 points to 37. In comparison, London dipped by three points to the joint lowest it has seen since the Index began.

Gavin Opperman, group customer banking director at CYBG, said: "At a macro‐economic level, the UK appears to be faring well. Sectors which have previously struggled, such as construction and manufacturing, have shown marked improvement and the share of SMEs operating below capacity has also dropped. Framing this is relatively strong GDP growth, particularly impressive given other major economies have slowed.

"Given this seemingly positive backdrop, it would be reasonable to expect this quarter's Health Check Index to reflect a more optimistic SME market, however the political and economic uncertainty driven by Brexit has sowed seeds of doubt and businesses have made it clear that they are unsure about what 2019 holds for them."

The report has also examined the potential impact of Brexit on the UK's nations and regions, identifying which parts of the country are most at risk of disruption caused by Brexit. The findings show that Wales and Scotland are most vulnerable, followed by the West Midlands, the North East, the East of England and the North West.

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.

Contact us

Make an enquiry