SMEs fast track online but 29% expect to go bust

Nearly one-in-five (17 per cent) of UK small firms have their business online sooner than anticipated due to Coronavirus, according to research, although almost a third of them still expect to go out of business in 2021.

Card payment services firm takepayments commissioned research among 1,000 UK SMEs and found that 29 per cent of business owners expect their companies to close this year, despite the online advancements.

SMEs within accountancy, banking and finance were the most likely to have fast-tracked their business online (30 per cent), followed by those in hospitality and events management (28 per cent).

Virtual events were the most popular technological advancement of the pandemic, with almost one quarter (23 per cent) of SMEs offering online webinars, workshops or live streams to continue engaging with customers.

Other advancements were:

-Introduced QR code systems - 19 per cent
-Introduced Teams, Zoom or Slack to move meetings online - 16 per cent
-Rolled out card machines - 10 per cent
-Online booking services - 9 per cent
-Started selling on social media - 8 per cent
-Introduced social media platforms - 5 per cent
-Went completely cashless - 4 per cent
-Created a website - 3 per cent

Takepayments said: “Businesses can take confidence from knowing how adaptable they have become, which should give them assurance for whatever may come their way in 2021.”

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