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Top four business challenges in 2016

UK businesses may face a slew of challenges in 2016 - from compliance to political shake-ups, businesses will need to be prepared to stay successful.

The following four topics are some of the biggest challenges facing businesses of all sizes this year:

  1. National Living Wage (NLW): Beginning in April, workers over the age of 25 will be entitled to receive at least £7.20 an hour. This mandatory wage increase is seen by many employers as a potential hindrance to hiring staff and growing their businesses. In fact, a recent survey found that 80 per cent of SMEs believe that the NLW will have a negative impact on their ability to hire new staff and expand their businesses. 
  2. Skills shortage: Nearly half of all UK businesses are concerned that their workers lack the necessary skills to help their companies remain competitive and continue to grow. To effectively address this concern, some businesses have begun investing in extra staff training and establishing apprenticeship programmes in order to help close any existing skill gaps. 
  3. Britain’s uncertain future in the European Union: The referendum on whether or not Britain will leave the EU (referred to by some as the ‘Brexit’) will take place this year on 23 June. If Britain were to leave, experts are concerned that it could limit exports to the EU and drastically reduce external business investments in Britain. 
  4. Cyber risk: Cyber crime costs the British economy an estimated £34 billion annually, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research. SMEs in particular are targeted 3 out of 4 times due to their limited protections. Regardless of your business' size, a cyber attack can damage not only your finances, but also your reputation.
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