Skip to main content
Guiding you to a better future


For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

Advice on protecting your wellbeing, self-confidence and mental health from the pressures of starting and running a business.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Cash is still king for UK's independent retailers

2 October 2023

A recent survey of retailers across the UK has found that cash remains a crucial payment method that keeps tills ringing for independent shops and small businesses.

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) has conducted a survey of retailers with input from organisations including the Federation of Independent Retailers, the Digital Entertainment and Retail Association, the Association of Cycle Traders and members of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC).

The poll, which was completed by over 650 independent UK retailers, has found that the vast majority of shops still accept coins and banknotes, despite the rise of cards and digital payments. Cash accounts for over 20% of sales revenue for 65% of the merchants polled.

Retailers struggle as bank branches close

When setting prices, 37% of retailers say they factor in the need to avoid copper coins, suggesting that retailers still cater to customers that prefer cash. However, securing change is an issue, with 87% needing to acquire coins and notes from bank branches - which are closing at an alarming rate.

Andrew Goodacre, ceo of Bira, said: "While new payment technologies are growing, this survey highlights that the majority of independents still rely on cash to serve their customers. As bank branches and ATMs close, safeguarding access to cash is vitally important. We need the financial industry to commit to making access to cash readily available, and not to rely on retailers offering cash back as the alternative. It's important that cash accessibility and payment choice is protected for all. Not every customer is ready or able to pay by card - retailers serve entire communities, not just those embracing digital."

The survey shows that 38% of retailers said they would only stop accepting cash if there was a closing down of a bank branch or Post Office in their area. This suggests that most do not plan to go cashless in the near future, despite the challenges they face.

Gen Z prefer digital payment methods

However, a recent poll of 1,000 Gen Z Brits, conducted by digital identity security specialists, ID Crypt Global, highlights the generational divide when it comes to payment methods. Its findings show that the under-25s rarely use cash and prefer to use digital wallets rather than bank cards:

  • 84% of those polled say they "never" or only "occasionally" use cash;
  • Just 16% say they pay with cash "often" or "always";
  • Almost 60% only "occasionally" or "never" use bank cards;
  • 74% use a digital wallet, such as that found on a smartphone, to make payments and purchases every week.

In addition, the research shows that 94% of Gen Z Brits use their digital ID to prove their identity. Despite this, young people are worried about the security of their digital identities and payments, with 85% saying they are concerned about who has access to the information stored within their digital ID.

Written by Rachel Miller.

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.