Wilting future for UK florists with 62% fall over the last year

Traditional businesses make way for boom in new service startups

  • 62 per cent decrease in number of florists compared to 2013
  • Past five years have seen an increase of startups, with a 24 per cent rise in last year
  • Over past five years, the number of house-sitting companies has risen by 584 per cent while pet-minder agencies have more than quadrupled
  • Traditional businesses such as domestic cleaners, dressmakers and childminders also on the decline

Independent florists have not had a rosy year according to new data (1) from Simply Business.

The UK’s leading business insurance broker has analysed data taken from over the past five years, to reveal that the number of independent florists fell by 62 per cent in the last 12 months. Florists in Wales and the West Midlands experienced the largest fall with a 74 per cent drop in both regions.

However, the analysis does not paint a bleak picture for all independent businesses. Simply Business found a steady increase in new startups over the past five years which supports the recent news that the UK is the ‘most entrepreneurial’ country in Europe (2). In fact, 2014 saw a significant surge in new businesses with the largest number of new startups in five years, growing by 24 per cent since 2013.

Interesting startups which have experienced a particular surge over the past five years include house-sitting and pet-minding agencies. Housesitters have increased by 584 per cent and petminders have increased by 367 per cent since 2010 with the highest density of both trades currently in the south-east, followed by London for housesitters and the north-west for petminders.

On the sliding scale, Simply Business discovered that alongside florists, dressmakers fell by 27 per cent and professional childminders by 25 per cent. While the number of new domestic cleaning companies fell (also by 27%), it does still remain one of the top startup sectors in the UK.

Top 3 growing sectors

Position Profession % increase 2013-2014
1 Housesitter 527%
2 Facilities management 459%
3 Petminder 199%

Top 3 declining sectors

Position Profession % decrease 2013-2014
1 Hair and beauty consultant 73%
2 Florist 62%
3 Event organiser 35%

Jason Stockwood, CEO of Simply Business, comments: “It is encouraging to see the continued rise of startups and independent tradesmen over the past five years. However, the unfortunate decline in many traditional micro businesses and sole traders cannot be ignored.

“We recently launched the Simply Britain: Backing Business report (3) which shone a spotlight on the unmet needs of micro business owners and sole traders, which account for 95 per cent of the 4.9m small businesses in the UK. Issues hindering their progress are not necessarily employment laws and export policy but everyday challenges like petrol costs.

“If we do not champion them, we risk losing more of our independent micro businesses which often lie at the heart of local communities. I hope the struggles faced by micro businesses and sole traders are addressed and we see a more flourishing forecast for our florists in the future.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  1. Figures are based on analysis of insurance policy quote data from 1,291,874 independent trades and startups between 2010 and 2014.

  2. Global Entrepreneur Index, 2014.

  3. Simply Britain: Backing Business

For further information, please contact:

Nithiya Gnanathas / Arthur Trousdell
020 7199 6196 / 020 7199 2203
Simplybusiness@wearesevenhills.com

About Simply Business

Simply Business is the UK’s favourite business insurance broker.

Launched in 2005, Simply Business provides an online brokerage service delivering policies tailored to individual business requirements. It has a team of UK based insurance specialists and employs over 250 people across offices in London and Northampton.

Simply Business insures over 300,000 UK SMEs and owing to its internal underwriting capability can cover over 1,000 trade types. It has been a Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company for the past three years and was recently named in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA. Revenues have grown from £4.2 million in 2006, to £22.9 million in 2012.

About Simply Business

Simply Business is the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, specialising in public liability insurance for SMEs and landlord insurance.

Launched in 2005, Simply Business provides an online brokerage service delivering policies tailored to individual business requirements. It has a team of UK based insurance specialists and employs almost 300 people across offices in London and Northampton.

Simply Business provides insurance to more than 400,000 UK SMEs and landlords and owing to its internal underwriting capability can cover over 1,000 trade types. It has been a Sunday Times Tech Track 100 company for the past three years and was recently named in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA. Revenues have grown from £4.2 million in 2006, to £25.4 million in 2014, and the company has been named 2015 and 2016 winners of The Sunday Times’ Best Company to Work For.