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When the going gets tough the smart get planning


Business conditions in the UK are getting progressively tougher and unemployment is rising fast in some sectors, such as banking and technology. Over the next three months, the situation may well get worse as fears of unemployment and war in the Middle East directly affect consumer spending, believes Palo Alto Software.

In this environment, the number of UK business failures is on the increase. Failures in the UK increased by 5.5 per cent to 11,088 in the third quarter of last year from the second, the worst figure for three years, according to Dun & Bradstreet, the business information company.* Smaller businesses too are going bankrupt at a faster rate than larger firms and are largely responsible for this growing failure rate, according to D&B.

Whilst its vitally important that UK plc makes it as easy as possible to start a successful business, it is essential that the SME sector itself performs as efficiently as it can, said Tim Berry, founder and president of Palo Alto Software. Enhanced efficiency is the key. Many businesses fail in their early years as they dont have a well thought-out and adhered-to business plan. SMEs and professional partnerships can be blown off course too easily for want of a clear model and tools with which to manage their operations.

According to Palo Alto, successive surveys over the last decade in the UK and North America have highlighted that survival and profit-making often depend on how well and specifically you plan your business and execute against plan, particularly in the early years.

"A decade ago, only about 40 per cent of small businesses started up with a formal business plan and 59 per cent of the new companies that grew successfully within the first two years actively used a business plan, added Berry. Over 70 per cent of the successful businesses also attributed their success to using a business plan. Despite extensive changes in the last decade, these figures have changed little.

Typically over two thirds of start-ups survive their second anniversary. But moving subsequently from the initial hand-to-mouth survival to a thriving business is very difficult and many businesses fail due to poor planning, rather than adverse business conditions. When the going gets tough, the smart get planning!



About Palo Alto Software

Palo Alto Software Limited sells, markets, and distributes localised, country specific, international versions of the award-winning business planning software developed by its Oregon, USA-based parent, Palo Alto Software, Inc, founded by president Tim Berry in 1984. Palo Alto Softwares award-winning website http://www.bplans.com continues to be one of the highest traffic sites in the small business arena, offering numerous business planning resources.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Atherfold/Lena Ahmed

Brodeur Worldwide

Tel: +44 (0)207 729 7116/7097

Email: latherfold@uk.brodeur.com/lahmed@uk.brodeur.com

Sabrina Berry Parsons

Palo Alto Software

Tel: +1 541-683-6162 ext. 124

Email: sabrina@paloalto.co.uk

Sales and Technical support:

(0)207-610-9371

sales@paloalto.co.uk



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