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This is how SMEs can afford GDPR compliance

It’s now less than six months until the GDPR compliance deadline but a lot of SMEs have yet to start preparing for the new legislation. Alternative finance can help them meet the cost of doing so.

Autumn Budget 2017 was a good one for small tech firms but with regard to managing tech changes for other SMEs, there was less help. A case in point is GDPR compliance and the costs that small business owners must cover in order to achieve it.

While it is clearly very important that companies handle, store and protect consumer data properly, the cost of assessing existing practices and systems, and upgrading them where required, is placing yet more strain on under pressure small business owners.

According to new research, the average SME has spent 80 days or 600 hours in 2017 on preparing for the new legislation. In terms of man and women hours alone, this translates into significant expenditure, not to mention use of resources. It also begins to explain why almost 30% of small businesses have yet to begin planning for the changes in regulation.

Small business owners must also manage a range of other costs, including those relating to cyber security, which is subject closely linked to GDPR legislation. Tellingly, a new survey identified London as one of the most at-risk cities in the world in terms of cyberattacks. At the same time, SMEs must navigate challenging market conditions, caused in part by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

So, what can alternative finance do? Services such as invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding can help raise capital for investment in new equipment and recruitment, and to maintain cash flow. This is how a firm in Sussex used peer-to-peer lending to finance the purchase of new equipment.

Whether used as stand-alone facilities or in tandem with traditional banking products, more and more small businesses are using these services, and benefiting from their accessibility, affordability and flexibility. As GDPR compliance deadline day approaches, alternative finance can help small business owners ensure they have the necessary infrastructure in place.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Tony on 01903 602211 or tony@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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