Majority of Middle East indy SME consultancies not paid on time

In the UAE, small and medium-sized consultancies’ biggest challenges are overdue receivables, cashflow, accessing market reports and managing the RFP process, a survey by the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) has found.

MEPRA chair of the Small and Medium Independents and Consultants Working Group, Kate Midttun
MEPRA chair of the Small and Medium Independents and Consultants Working Group, Kate Midttun

Sixty per cent of small- and medium-sized independent comms agencies polled in the UAE said clients did not pay according to contract agreements, while 90 per cent are challenged on price, either at the pitch stage or by clients looking to reduce costs. Survey respondents said the pressure on fees is “untenable”.

Despite the pressure on costs, four in ten agencies said they would like to grow their headcount by 20 per cent.

“Small and medium independents and consultants are vital to our industry and its future," said Kate Midttun, MEPRA chair of the Small and Medium Independents and Consultants Working Group, and Acorn Strategy CEO. "Supporting their specific needs and ensuring they have access to resources and tools they need is an important contribution to the economy, as well as our remit at MEPRA.

“While the survey revealed many of our small independent members benefit from MEPRA’s free training, wellness support and branding opportunities, we realised there was still a lot of work to do in developing support which specifically addressed unique challenges faced by this group.” 


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