The latest figures from the ONS reveal that household spending has grown by just 1.7 per cent in the past year, which is the weakest rate recorded by official sources since 2011. The main driver is believed to be falling pay in real terms, which has now begun to bite on household finances.

Workers are also still concerned about the prospect of Brexit and what this may mean for their jobs. Employers have put the brakes on investment and some have paused recruitment pending clarification from the government on the detail of the Brexit plan and the implications for businesses.

At the same time, the stock market has been jittery since December’s record highs, with investors responding to a wave of weak global market data and political tensions. Households may also be waking up to concerns that Brits have become a nation of borrowers, with savings at an all-time low and personal debt levels rising. Many believe that interest rates will start to rise this year, meaning that debt will become more expensive to service.

The high street has felt the impact of relatively slow-growing spending; however, with deep-discounting now in evidence at various sale periods of the year, there is hope for businesses. Firstly, it is important to remember that the figures from the ONS show growth rather than a reduction in spending; secondly, many niche businesses in particular are doing extremely well, especially where they offer well-researched, valued products and services that customers can buy easily and with superb service.

Online e-commerce retailers with specialist offerings are enjoying excellent sales and working hard to differentiate themselves with superb customer service, smart branding, and a real emphasis on customer experience. Businesses that can respond to customers’ demands for a more meaningful buyer experience with the highest standards of service can enjoy loyalty and custom, often with referrals from happy customers to friends and relatives via their own network.

Businesses with a desire to do things differently and in a service-oriented way can still build highly-profitable, successful businesses, even in challenging climates. Investing in online assets such as a great website, app, online marketing and digital business tools helps enterprises to offer seamless service and to operate their business efficiently without excess costs.

Building a successful and digitised business obviously require investment. Century Business Finance offers ready business finance at excellent rates for any business purpose, enabling entrepreneurs to evolve their plans without needing to dip into precious reserves or working capital.

Our offer

Businesses can borrow from £25k to £500k for unsecured loans and from £20k to £1m for secured asset finance, which includes building works. Interest rates start at 4.8 per cent and terms range from six months to five years, according to your needs, with fixed repayments for ease of budgeting. There are no hidden charges, fees or early repayment charges, and no appointments are required to take out our business loans.

We accept nine out of ten applications and make an instant lending decision, meaning that the funds can be with you the next working day. Contact our team to ask any questions or complete our short online application form for an immediate decision and to progress your business growth plans without delay!