Archive for December, 2019

What’s occupying British SME’s

Growing revenue is the top challenge for businesses employing less than 30 staff .    Hiring employees is the biggest challenge for 30-50 staff .                                                            Government regulation becomes an issue 50+ staff

But once you get under the skin of Business Owners, there are 10 big challenges facing SME’s on a daily basis as recently discussed at the Business Exposure Group.

Uncertainty – around customer trends makes businesses feel vulnerable.  Uncertainty lead to short term focus.

Financial Management – Cash Flow.  Larger customers are imposing longer payment terms.  Most businesses do not fail due to lack of orders but due to lack of ready cash.  The average wait is 72 days for payment for businesses with turnovers of up to £1.5m.

Monitoring Performance – Are KPI’s as good as they sound?  In many companies there is a lack of execution of ideas and strategies because of juggling minutia as a daily priority.

Competencies and recruiting the right talent – The difficulties of being considered an employer of choice. Making a success of employees working flexibly to retain staff whilst improving the business as a priority.  And recently monitoring stress in the workforce has become a real challenge for business owners

Technology – Should all technologies be outsourced to reduce demand on administration and if not the problems of distinguishing which technology will give the highest return in terms of time and investment is problematic.

Exploding Data – Information overload – Meeting expectations of customer and making sense of big data for your customer experience , which if handled correctly can drive significant additional revenue to the business.

Customer Service – What is the appropriate level these days.  Are people’s expectations too high, they are always challenging and chipping away.

Maintaining Reputation – It takes a lifetime to build and a second to loose.  And now there is a new threat and genuine concern about Cyber Security.

Knowing when to embrace change – Balancing quality with growth.  Businesses are stocking less and relying upon a lean supply chain.  Is this clever or does it open up crippling disruptions?

Regulations and Compliance – Has GDPR had much of an impact? Has the national living wage caused problems? Is there too much red tape when transacting with larger organizations?

What’s occupying British SME’S as a topic created more questions than answers. But it is reassuring to know that many of us are all in the same boat.

A stimulating discussion ensued around the table when members of the Business Exposure Group discussed this topic at a recent meeting.


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