Published on Tuesday 24 January 2017 in Van News
It's official! The Vanarama Brexit Survey shows that 74% of the UK's van-driving small business owners can't wait for Brexit because they believe it will be good for their business. Vanarama's Content Editor Tom Roberts reports.
Following Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit speech, over 1,000 small business owners (1,073 to be precise) – made up of 53% sole traders, 38% limited company owners, 9% other types of businesses (partnerships and PLCs, for example), working in a variety of SMEs from all over the UK – answered our survey to tell us exactly what they think about Brexit, and how they predict 2017 will be for their business.
If you want the key stats, skip down the page and take a look at our infographic of the top 6 stats, and you can also join the conversation on our social media platforms, especially on Twitter where you can use the hashtag #VanaramaBrexitSurvey.
Brexit – good or bad for business?
- In a landslide vote, 74% think Brexit will be GOOD for their business – an overwhelmingly positive result. Some of the free text comments we received on the survey show an admirable fighting spirit among van-driving small business owners to keep working hard and try to make the best of Brexit.
- 70% told us that they would vote to LEAVE the EU if the referendum was held tomorrow! We also asked how they voted in the actual referendum – 69% voted to leave. It seems opinions haven't changed, van-driving small business owners are sticking to their guns on Brexit.
- Confidence in Theresa May's leadership sits just above the middle at 6 - not bad, not great. We take this to mean that the PM has done okay, but clearly still has some work to do to win over van-driving small business owners – here's hoping the negotiations go her way…even if the Supreme Court battle over triggering Article 50 didn't…
The Brexit wish list – what are your demands?
- At the top of the Brexit wish list is RESTRICTING ACCESS to the UK's borders (64%). Border control and immigration were THE issues in the Brexit referendum, and it's no surprise to see it in the top spot on our survey. It's no secret that small business owners – especially those that work in a trade – have seen their markets undercut by tradespeople from Europe.
- In a close second place on the Brexit wish list is STOPPING PAYMENTS to EU budgets (62%), another key referendum issue, and whether or not you believe the "£350m a week" bus quote, it's clear that business owners want to see the UK's money stay in the UK.
- And at number three on the Brexit wish list is the UK must secure TARIFF-FREE TRADE with the EU (42%). Theresa May has promised she will try to get the "best deal for Britain", but has said we WILL be leaving the single market. Who knows if tariff-free trade is something we'll be able to get?
2017 – will it be boom or bust?
- Continuing the positive trend against the backdrop of Brexit negotiations, 71% told us they believe 2017 will see their business GROW, 27% think their business will continue to perform at the same level, and only 2% told us they thought their business would under perform.
- We also saw that 41% will be looking to TAKE ON NEW STAFF – a clear sign of a growing business and confidence in the strength of local economies. And 42% will be OFFERING MORE SERVICES to their customers – showing a bit more of that get-up-and-go attitude small business in the UK are known for.
What a positive batch of results! It's clear that van-driving small business owners are going to grab Brexit with both hands and try their best to make the most of it. Close to 75% say they think it's going to be GOOD for business.
After the question about whether Brexit would be good or bad for business, we asked people to explain why they thought it would be. And we got some hugely positive answers. One person was bullish about the state of their business: "Business has improved since the vote. People appear to have confidence in spending money." Long may it continue.
Others took a larger view, saying: "In the long-term, Brexit will be better for ALL British businesses." And another said: "There's more opportunities outside the EU than there are in it. It's a big wide world out there that can be traded with."
And most importantly, we also received plenty of comments like this one: "Whatever happens after Brexit, I will have to adapt accordingly…and my plan is to never go backwards."
We're right there with them. Gotta love that flexibility and fighting spirit!