Skip to main content
We're here with practical information for your business. Learn about business planning, running a business and more.


For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Faster payment could unlock profits for small firms

15 June 2021

A new study has calculated that up to £60bn of additional revenue could be unlocked for small businesses if their large customers paid them on receipt of invoices.

Research published by the Good Business Pays movement has highlighted the huge positive economic impact that faster payment of invoices could have on small businesses and the wider UK economy.

The study, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), estimates that if small businesses invoices were paid on the day they were submitted, their revenues would increase by £40bn - £60bn per year. Prompt payment could also help small businesses create up to 460,000 extra jobs in the UK economy.

The study has found that small business profits would be between 1.8% and 2.7% higher in a scenario where they are paid instantly by large customers. Collective profits across the small business sector would rise by up to £6.3 billion per year.

However, despite significant efforts to tackle late payment by the government and leading business bodies it seems the pandemic has made things worse. The CEBR reports that COVID-19 has reversed the trend of improving payment times by Britain's large companies, with the average time taken to pay suppliers rising to over 37.4 days on average in 2020 - up from 36.4 days in 2019.

An estimated 2.3 million small businesses currently offer trade credit to their customers, of which almost half (1.1 million) report having problems with customers paying later than their agreed payment terms. Worryingly, the proportion of invoices paid later than 60 days has jumped by over 8% between 2019 and 2020 to one in seven (14.9%) of all invoices.

Terry Corby, chair of the Good Business Pays campaign, said: "Now, more than ever it is important for big companies to re-evaluate their payment terms to the small suppliers who helped keep them afloat … Making moves to pay invoices faster has never been easier, with tech-enabled systems available to help businesses pay quickly, reduce risk, increase efficiency and save cost. The next big step we need to take is making faster payments an industry standard, and one that both investors and customers expect from responsible businesses."

The findings reveal that the sector worst affected by late payment is professional services. More than a quarter of these businesses (28%) reported problems with customers paying late, followed by agriculture, mining and utilities (24%), then manufacturing and construction (22%). In contrast, in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, just 7% of small businesses said they have had problems with customers paying later than their terms.

Commenting on the study, Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: "This research aligns with FSB's own findings that paying promptly would save 50,000 small firms a year, add billions to the economy and improve productivity through both efficiency and stopping small business owners having to chase payments."

The Good Business Pays movement was launched in May 2021 to encourage the UK's largest companies to fast track payments to small suppliers. It is backed by the FSB, the CBI, Make UK, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Creative Industries Federation .

Written by Rachel Miller.

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to the lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.

Contact us

Make an enquiry