David has a shot at Goliath with Small Business Saturday boosting business for independent retailers across the UK.

On Saturday the 5th December, millions of people hit the shops, spending £623m on the day, and organisers anticipate an even greater turnout this year.

It’s great to see small retailers getting this boost, but new research reveals many are too hampered by financial issues to make the most of opportunities to grow throughout the year.

While most sectors of the UK’s small business community are suffering from out-of-date accounts, retailers are in the even less enviable position of working with five and a half-month-old data.

The link between financial accounts and high street success isn’t an obvious one. After all what do people’s shopping habits have to do with bookkeeping or data management?

The answer lies in the power of information to inform investment decisions, whether that means new stock, premises or staff. We found there is a direct correlation between small firms’ access to up to date financial information and how much they grew in 2015. In the last twelve months small businesses with up to date accounts grew twice as fast those whose accounts were nine months out of date. What’s more these investment decisions are crucial; research from eBay reveals that 79% of shoppers will purchase elsewhere if the product they want is out of stock.

Small retailers have such a lot to offer – bringing diversity and independent brilliance to our streets and our screens. Addressing these financial blindspots with accurate real-time data is a crucial part of the puzzle in helping them thrive.

Too few retailers have access to accurate financial information in a useful format and without this, many will miss out on opportunities to take their firm to the next level. To supercharge growth and take full advantage of seasonal events and days such as Small Business Saturday, the UK’s retailers need to know where their finances stand at all times. Only with this information can they make the bold and well-informed decisions that lie behind every great business success story.

Business leaders can explore this research and find out how to address their own financial blindspots with our interactive tool, including sector-specific reports.

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