Female owned small businesses shun London

London is failing to attract small businesses with nine or fewer employees but houses a large proportion of corporations with larger staffing levels, research reveals.

100 female business owners across a variety of company sizes took part in a recent OnePoll survey conducted by Reed Commercial. More than half, 56 per cent, of businesses employed between two to nine workers, 22 per cent had 10-49 employees, 16 per cent had 50-249 employees and only six per cent had 250+ employees.

London was home to roughly two-thirds of the businesses in each of the size demographics - with one exception. Out of the 56 businesses with only two to nine employees, only three were based in London. This represents a tiny fraction of the demographic - only five per cent of the smallest businesses were based in the UK's capital city.

In the two to nine employee demographic, the majority of businesses have been set up by the respondent. Some 89 per cent of these smaller businesses are run by the people that set them up. This compares to just 32 per cent in the 10-49 employee demographic, 50 per cent in the 50-249 and 67 per cent in 250+ employee bracket.

Businesses with two to nine employees are also experiencing greater difficulties with money, compared to the larger companies in the survey. Almost half of the small-sized businesses said they were having finance and cash flow issues, compared to only one-quarter of those with 50 or more employees and one-fifth of those with 10 to 49 employees.

Additionally, when asked: "what difficulties have you faced while running your business, if any?", 30 per cent of businesses with two to nine employees said they were having no issues with their business, compared to 40 per cent of companies with 50+ employees. But more than three-quarters of businesses with 10 to 49 employees claimed to have no business issues. This stat, alongside the lack of financial issues reported by middle-sized businesses, suggests this size demographic are facing fewer difficulties on all levels, particularly a financial one.

At the other end of the spectrum, those businesses with 50+ employees were mainly working within the professional service industries. More than one-quarter of these larger companies work in the IT sector and 18 per cent in the accountancy, banking and finance sectors, with business, consulting and management and science and pharmaceuticals both featuring in this size demographic. Only one business out of the 22 with 50+ employees came from the creative arts and design sector.

The retail and sales industries were the most popular industry sectors across all business sizes, with one-in-six of the companies working in this area. All of those retail and sales businesses employ 49 or fewer workers, with two-thirds only employing two to nine workers, according to the survey results.

Image source: Shutterstock/IR Stone