Home Counties a hotbed for new business growth

home countiesAs Chartered Accountants who work with start-ups, it’s encouraging to note that our local region, the Home Counties, is ahead of the curve when it comes to new business creation. Analysis released in November 2015 by UHY Hacker Young reveals that two thirds of the top 20 net growth areas in the UK are located in the Home Counties. So if you’re thinking of starting a business here you’ll be in good company.

Setting up a business anywhere, at any time, requires a rare combination of a great idea, resilience, finance and entrepreneurship. Businesses that set up in areas with lower growth rates and go against the trends are to be applauded. Clearly the Home Counties has a more conducive climate for the new entrepreneur.

Not only is the Home Counties a hub for growth, but within this region, our Hertfordshire base is counted amongst the top start-up zones too. Watford, East Hertfordshire, Borehamwood and Potters Bar, Broxbourne and Waltham Cross are all amongst the UK’s highest for net new businesses. Unsurprisingly, London, another area where we support many clients, takes a top spot too.

UK net new business
Areas with the greatest increase last year

Area Net new business
per 10,000 population
Staines 43
London 40
Sleaford, Lincolnshire 40
Slough 32
Esher, Surrey 30
Trafford 30
Northampton 30
Watford 29
Windsor and Maidenhead 28
Cannock Chase 28
Epping Forest 27
Horsham, West Sussex 27
East Hertfordshire 26
Borehamwood & Potters Bar 26
Sefton, Merseyside 26
Corby, Northamptonshire 26
Reading 25
Dartford 25
Warwick 25
Broxbourne & Waltham Cross 25
Amersham & Chesham 25
UK average 14
UHY Hacker Young statistics:
Number of net new businesses per 10,000
to year end 31 December 2013, latest figures available.

Tarrant Green & Company is well placed to support start-ups, with twenty years spent doing just that. Over the years we’ve provided advice to many new businesses on their structure, taxation and raising finance. We provide advice and training on accounts and admin systems, giving a practical perspective that saves time and money.

For advice, please email info@tarrantgreen.com or call +44(0)1438 869 644.

Do you have the right capabilities for growth? Survey uncovers gaps.

Do you have the right capabilities for growth?Growth is a sign of a healthy company. Whether its growth in turnover, market share or profits. An improvement in these key performance indicators reflects a business that is moving in the right direction.

Yet despite around half of small and medium businesses predicting growth, there are noticeable gaps in the business capabilities required to create this growth. If you are one of many SMEs that require expert support in specific areas of tax, finance, accounting systems or litigation support, please make contact with our senior partner, Tarrant Green.

The recently published UK Small Business Survey was conducted for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills amongst 5,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with fewer than 250 employees. It revealed that 51% of business leaders predict growth in turnover in the next year, while only 8 per cent forecast lower growth.

Over 2 to 3 years the expectation of growth is yet stronger with 74% of SME firms aiming to grow their businesses.

Firms in some sectors have above average growth ambitions:

  • 81% manufacturing
  • 86% information and communications
  • 78% business services
  • 83% administrative services

Yet despite this commitment to growth, when employers were asked about their capability in essential business areas, the percentage believing they are strong on these tasks falls below 100%:

  • 78% people management
  • 73% decisions on tax and regulation issues
  • 61% business strategy
  • 61% operational improvement
  • 44% introducing new products and services
  • 28% entering new markets
  • 27% accessing external finance

This begs the question, if a significant proportion of companies lack essential capabilities, then how will they optimise their firm’s performance and achieve its growth goals?

As well as revealing gaps in business capabilities the survey also showed that there are issues for SMEs that need to access finance. Almost 20% had looked for finance in the previous year and of these 39% experienced some problems in securing the funds they wanted from their first choice source, including 30% who were refused outright.

Of course, it has always been difficult for SMEs to cover all the bases in terms of business capabilities. Unlike huge corporations, large teams of specialists in tax, strategy and finance would represent an unwarranted overhead.

Tarrant Green and Company supports SMEs when they need help, for as long as they need it, to bolster their capability, including:

  • providing advice and training on appropriate accounts systems and software
  • assisting in raising finance
  • taxation investigations and litigation support services
  • forensic accounting
  • advising on the most efficient approach to taxation.

In order to support emerging new businesses and SMEs, we are proud participants in the Business Advice Service of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

You can email info@tarrantgreen.com or call +44(0)1438 869 644 for details.


Leaders of British SMEs work 15 months a year

15The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) conducted a survey of leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with between 10 and 249 staff work. The research has revealed that they work 3 extra months in a year, over and above a 40 hour working week. On average SME leaders work 10 hours extra hours a week and this rises to 13.4 hours a week for those in the larger SMEs with 100 to 249 staff. The survey showed that back office tasks account for much of this additional workload.

  •  90 minutes per week is spent on marketing
  • 77 minutes on HR related activities
  • 73 minutes per week is spent handling insurance
  • 62 minutes is required to manage IT
  • 37 minutes is taken by dealing with office supplies

“It is concerning to think that SMEs work an extra quarter of a year, effectively doing a full year’s work by October. Much of this time is spent on tasks that have nothing to do with their core business goals,” commented Steve White, Chief Executive of BIBA

This situation is the reason why specialist firms like Tarrant Green & Company exist to provide financial and management consultancy services, and even advice and training on IT systems for accounting. The support provided by our senior partner, Tarrant, can help reduce your workload as a business leader and increase the profitability of your business.

Could you win a share of the £1 million investment Pitch to Rich?

coinsVirgin Media’s, Richard Branson and LinkedIn have launched the ‘Pitch to Rich’ campaign to back British entrepreneurs.

You could win support to get your idea off the ground. There are three different categories:

  1. Start-up: new business concept with huge potential
  2. New things: big new ideas with the capacity to disrupt
  3. Grow: for existing businesses that are ready to scale up.

Find out more about the financial and mentoring support available through this campaign, and what you need to do to pitch your business idea.

Going for growth

We’ve signed up to the ICAEW’s Business Advice Service. The ICAEW is a world leader of the accountancy and finance profession, and the advice service is an initiative which recognises the role that small business has to play in driving economic growth. The scheme gives small businesses access to fully qualified Chartered Accountants.

It’s been our pleasure to support a wide range of businesses over the years, including a firm of West End tailors which held the Royal Warrant; a health club; an academic consultancy; solicitors; a nationwide plant hire company; young talented people just starting up businesses.