Poor payment tops list of concerns
Cashflow worries as a result of increasing late payments are causing small businesses the most headaches, according to the latest Economic Downturn Panel survey carried out by the Forum of Private Business (FPB).
Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents to the survey selected late payment and, subsequently, poor cashflow as their 'key issue' - more than those who voted for a lack of sales (20%), and complying with health and safety regulations (11%).?
Even declining bank lending was deemed to be less of a concern than poor payments. Banks' tardy decision making was chosen as the major issue by 6% of respondents, and the steep cost of bank lending by 4%.
In all, 42% of FPB members who took part in the survey reported a deterioration in prompt payments from customers - typically bigger businesses - compared to just 3% who said there had been an improvement. A total of 56% said there has been no change from previous months.