Entrepreneurs in the UK really hate their banks

New figures report that UK entrepreneurs have to spend at least one day a month on financial admin and 67% of small business owners wouldn’t recommend their bank to others.

entreprenuersSmall business owners are wasting considerable amounts of their time on routine financial administraion in the early stages of their companies’ lives, according to a new survey.

The figures released by Tide, ‘a new banking service designed specifically for small business’ – show that 63% of entrepreneurs running startups spend at least one day every month on administrative financial tasks, such as setting up bank accounts, tax calculations, invoices and expenses.

Based on a survey of 149 UK small business owners and sole traders about their experiences of small business banking and of managing their finances, 36% of respondents rated the help and support received from their bank as poor or very poor, while 67% said they weren’t likely to recommend their current business bank to others.

“In the early days of starting a new business, entrepreneurs and sole traders all too easily find themselves tied up in financial red tape. And while the tasks they have to complete aren’t necessarily complicated, they are time-consuming and unfamiliar. There is no reason why banks can’t help their customers to navigate these waters more efficiently and save them time, but they simply aren’t doing so,” said George Bevis, CEO of Tide.

Respondents also revealed their most significant frustrations and challenges in managing their company’s finances. Topping the list was tax calculations (a challenge for 54% of those surveyed), followed by accounting (51%), keeping track of expenses (49%), having to use multiple applications to manage different services (38%), invoicing (30%), and payroll (18%).

Those surveyed were also asked what features were most important in choosing a banking provider. The top Five were easy internet banking (listed by 80%), a good mobile app (66%), free transactions (54%), speed of set up (39%), and the length of the free banking period (36%).

Conversely, some traditional strengths offered by the banking sector such as having a local branch (5%), offering an overdraft (10%) or telephone support (16%) were seen as unimportant, while not a single respondent said that the provision of a chequebook would be a factor in their choice.

150-WORD BOOK REVIEW – Accelerate by Luke Deering

Accelerate 3d CoverIf there is a market for a coffee table book for entrepreneurs, as I’m sure there is, this book is perfect fare next to a copy of Contagious magazine and a compendium of Cartier-Bresson photography.

Not only does the book come with advice from more than 140 successful entrepreneurs about setting up a startup, joining an accelerator and other elements such as marketing and fundraising, it is a font of useful information.

While the odd subbing and editing mistake take off the gloss, the advice therein will encourage entrepreneurs to focus on their products and build up their companies. Moreover, it’s also given me the kick in the arse to do the same myself.

* Since this original review, the book has been revamped with introductions from Pat Riley, MD of the Global Accelerator Network and Alex Iskold, Manger of the TechStars New York program

For more information about where to procure Accelerate, please click here.

REVIEW: 8.5/10

Europe’s StartupBus hits the three-day road to Vienna

startup_busStartupBus is taking Europe’s most promising entrepreneurs on a three-day bus ride across six countries to Vienna.

StartupBus Europe 2013 is the third annual European competition, taking place from October 27th-30th with six buses from six countries around the continent converging in Vienna at the Pioneer’s Festival for a 150-person competition. Continue reading

Rocket Lawyer aims to disrupt the legal industry

Getting a good lawyer isn's about getting your leg over

Getting a good lawyer isn’t just about getting your leg over

The UK launch of Rocket Lawyer in London’s Tech City is an effort to disrupt the expensive and customer-unfriendly legal industry, news that will interest entrepreneurs, startups an SMEs.

The company has introduced straightforward and affordable legal services across the UK plus free legal services for three days in a bid to simplify the law, cut out the jargon and reduce the costs of legal matters.

Its subscription service of £25 per month may make it an attractive alternative to the current model. For this £25 fee, customers gain access to unlimited legal documents, one free 30-minute consultation with an On Call lawyer per month and a pre-negotiated discount of up to 33% off all additional legal fees. Continue reading

Entrepreneurs work much harder in London than in Scotland

london_entrepreneurLondon entrepreneurs work the most hours a week while those in Scotland work the least, while UK entrepreneurs across the country are working an average of 52 hours a week; 63% longer than the average salaried Briton.

The survey of 2,000 UK entrepreneurs, commissioned by Penelope, a call handling solution for small businesses, found that entrepreneurs in London were found to be working the longest week at 61 hours compared to those in Scotland who were working an average of 46. Continue reading