The UK SME Sector
The SME sector has been identified by the government as a priority area for development to lead the UK's economic recovery. SMEs have always been the backbone of the country, with great levels of natural entrepreneurial spirit in evidence across all sectors and great success stories to be inspired by.
For many SMEs who have overcome the first hurdles of setting up a business, launching their product and making a success of their initial offering, the next question lies around growth. How can small and medium sized businesses, without the resources of huge corporates, find the right business growth solutions to help them grow?
Support Is Available
Happily, there are a wide range of organisations that exist to provide business solutions that are effective, subsidised and even free of charge in some cases. These organisations exist under different names and will work in partnership with a range of funders - both private and public - and other sources of grant money, sponsorship and networks, to offer business growth solutions to smaller companies looking to take the next step. But what sort of services might these cover?
Recruitment and Workforce Development.
Some organisations offer free recruitment of apprenticeships or long term unemployed, with structured and managed training schemes so that the individuals can become accredited whilst on the job. This offers large benefits to the employer, the individual and the wider community and indeed, many customers are now actively seeking out businesses who have ethical and community policies as part of their business and seek to buy from them. Apprenticeships have long been the backbone of many industries and are now expanding into a huge range of areas, including web design, marketing, fashion, administration, adult health care, dentistry and more, alongside the more traditional trade areas of construction, engineering, hairdressing, automotive and business administration. They are a great way to bring bright young talent into an organisation and see it grow and become loyal to that organisation.
Business training is another area where support is available and there is a wide range of broad and specified training available, often leading to accreditations or qualifications. This might range from sales training for your front line staff, through to business strategy for your executive team and food safety regulatory training for your catering staff.
Business consultancy is often seen as being expensive, but it can in fact be provided through corporate social responsibility schemes or even not for profit schemes, from large organisations seeking to help smaller businesses within their area of trade, or from universities, large public bodies or other areas. This consultancy may have a fee or may be offered gratis as part of a wider business support package. Other services include mentoring and coaching, which have long been proven to be extremely powerful in effecting positive and long term change within an organisation.
So get in touch with your local business services provider today and find out which services are available to you. A business advisor will work with you to establish your needs and you'll likely be hugely surprised and gratified by what's on offer. Get in touch and make the most of it - and look forward to seeing your business grow!