SMEs: Over 55s less concerned about the economy

SME decision makers over the age of 55 are the most relaxed age group when it comes to the perception of overall risk in the economy.

The Zurich SME Risk Index shows that less than two fifths (39 per cent) of over 55’s perceive more economic risk now than 12 months ago. This compares with more than half (54 per cent) of SME decision makers under the age of 45 who perceive more risk now than before the vote to leave the EU.

Workforce challenges, market dynamics and supply chain issues are areas where differences were most pronounced amongst the age groups. 50 per cent of SMEs under the age of 45 reported challenges in their workforce as their major concern (over 55s: 26 per cent), 42 per cent cited market dynamics as their key worry (over 55s: 35 per cent), and 32 per cent said they were most concerned about supply chain issues (over 55s: 19 per cent). 

The survey of over 1,000 SME decision makers showed that the younger business leaders – under 35s – are most likely to seek out a competitive advantage in a tough business environment and, whilst they are more sceptical about the economy than the older age groups, they are also experiencing the most growth. This is possibly linked to their heightened willingness to adopt new technology and working practices.

Commenting on the survey findings Paul Tombs, Head of SME Proposition at Zurich, says: “After a turbulent 12 months, older SME decision makers are taking a relaxed approach to economic uncertainty. Although their younger counterparts have shown significantly higher levels of concern across a number of critical economic indicators, scepticism has led to resourcefulness and flexibility.

“Younger business owners are innovating to compete and in an uncertain business environment, they are being rewarded with far greater opportunities for growth than other age groups.”

At Beavis Morgan we understand the challenges faced by SMEs and the environment you operate in. Our specialist SME business advisers are available to help you navigate any pitfalls and implement the appropriate structures and strategies required to remain successful and increase your net worth.

For information about how we can assist by putting processes in place to lessen the impact of Brexit on your business, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.