The Yorkshire Bank has released the results of a survey that was carried out in the West Midlands. The survey showed the attitude of SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprise) towards business development and growth. SMEs are important to the economy and it was interesting to see what their plans are for development and growth.
The majority of business will accept any work that is handed to them on a plate. However, there are businesses that may refuse the work , due to the work not being part of their industry, they cannot manage the work effectively or perhaps the terms of payment are not quite right. These businesses that show integrity and they won’t accept work to do for the sake of being paid.
It gets more interesting when work is gained. Some businesses will take on the work and actively work hard to complete the job in hand. Their energy will be spent on marketing, advertising and development. They will do their utmost to get more work and ultimately put profits on the books and in the bank.
Other businesses will do no advertising, seek no work and do nothing for growth and development.
There could be many reasons for this, such as, they are happy with the work they are doing and leave it up to word of mouth to provide a slow trickle of new business, they may not want the hassle that arrives with new business, or they don’t want to waste money on advertising that doesn’t work.
This shows the different views on development and growth. Now let’s take a look at some of the stats from the Yorkshire Bank survey. They make an interesting observation about SMEs in the West Midlands.
1. Over a fifth of SMEs in the West Midlands do not want growth
It is amazing how many businesses don’t want growth, they just get on with things the way they are. They may have the luxury of not having to worry about growth or it may be that they just don’t want it. Some small family businesses are a prime example of this.
2. Two thirds of SMEs think that professional advice is important hand therefore they establish yearly at least
It is interesting to know that nearly half of these SMEs are professional businesses such as lawyers and accountants. They would want to make sure that their business was running correct and legal.
It is also interesting that when it comes to gaining new business, owners will seek advice for maintaining what they have rather than being pro-active in marketing to get new business. Sometimes this is the right approach to ensure your business is running effectively. On the other hand, depending on circumstances, a business may think about what they don’t yet have and how they can gain those things.
3. 93% of Businesses are looking to actively invest for the future
This suggests that there is a clear intention of expecting great results in the future. But, with only a fifth of businesses wanting to seek work for growth this might show that the intention of the majority is to keep what they have rather than expand.
4. Existing Support
Around 50% of businesses thought that there was enough support from the public and private sector and help support. I thought this was high, as you presume that businesses do not think that there is support around them and there is little hope of help. In fact, they do know and it might be a case of not knowing how to seek out the right advice and apply it to their business situation effectively.
In reality, we believe that most businesses want to grow, in any capacity, and there is help out there; it’s applying that help that causes nightmares.
The answer is to get advice that suits your business, good solid advice that makes sense for your business and is easy to understand.