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Half of UK businesses said lack of equipment has prevented them from scaling up

In this day and age, it has never been easier to start a business, but many are struggling to lift off the ground.

Shire Leasing conducted research in August 2018 via a survey of 250 office workers who have equipment purchasing responsibilities. The results are outstanding and show that 49% of UK businesses think that lack of equipment has hindered their ability to scale up.

Nearly all (85%) of businesses claimed a lack of equipment hindered them from working at a proficient pace. Even more shockingly, 41% of employees say this affects their working ability every week.

Moreover, it was workers in larger organisations, those with over 500 employees, who saw it the worst. They were most likely to say their working ability is hindered by outdated or a lack of equipment at least once a week (55%).

However, it’s not just the struggle of building the company up. The survey has also found that most companies have around £90,800 worth of broken or obsolete equipment.

UK businesses are harbouring thousands of pounds worth of unused equipment, including items such as fax machines (30%) which have been obsolete for the past decade.

Further to this, 8 out of 10 companies are actually holding onto equipment which has no use to them whatsoever.

The top five obsolete items were:

  1. Old computers that don’t work (36%)
  2. Typewriter/word processor (32%)
  3. Fax machine (30%)
  4. Old printers that don’t work (25%)
  5. Old laptops that don’t work (24%)

One that didn’t quite make the top five - but is sure to bring back nostalgic memories - is the humble Floppy disk, with 22% of businesses still holding on to them.

With that in mind, the research also looked into how much money is being invested into getting new equipment for office-based companies. Last year companies with less than 250 employees spent £62,100 on new technology, which far outnumbers larger businesses (with 250-500 employees) who only spend a tiny £44,500 in comparison.

When asked how they have overcome this issue, only 16% of businesses said that they have leased business equipment through finance, yet the top issues with purchasing equipment were keeping up with new innovations in the market (41%) and cost of maintenance (31%), which finance can combat.

Does this sound a bit too familiar?

Whether it's your business that's struggling or your customers' growth, Shire Leasing will work with you to find the right funding solution.

To get things moving or to discuss your options, contact a member of our team on 01827 68939 or email


*Contacted 250 employees with decision-making responsibility over equipment purchasing (Office Managers etc.). The research fieldwork took place between 10th and 13th August 2018. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.

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