Entrepreneurs short of organisation skills

UK entrepreneurs score highly on ideas but are lacking in time management and planning, according to a new study among business people.

Research of 111 entrepreneurs by Andrum Consulting finds that more than 80 per cent of the UK’s entrepreneurial businesses have at least two completely new ideas which they have yet to commercialise and 26 per cent have four or more ideas waiting to be launched.

However, poor day-to-day cash flow is an issue for almost a fifth, some 30 per cent of entrepreneurs don’t know how to manage their time and over half don’t have a long-term plan. A lack of finance for investment is also hindering 39 per cent of respondents.

Richard Grafton, partner at Andrum Consulting says, ‘It is fantastic that the entrepreneurial businesses we studied are so brimming with ideas, but if they lack the skills to know which idea is the strongest and can’t raise the finance to turn the chosen idea into a commercial reality such innovation will not translate into sales, jobs or exports.’

According to the study ‘What Makes Entrepreneurs Tick’, although it is fashionable to criticise the banks, many entrepreneurs are not helping themselves. Andrum finds that just 57 per cent have a five year plan, less than half have a social media strategy and barely 12 per cent have a written down exit strategy.

Anita Weyland, partner at Andrum Consulting adds, ‘There is no doubt that banks are not coming up with a lot of investment, but if companies are to persuade financial partners to back their innovation, they need more than ideas.

Weyland adds that companies must demonstrate planning, a rigour around their numbers and show they have an experienced team in place to take the business to the next level.

She continues, ‘Many of the entrepreneurs we studied said they don’t even have enough time in the working day nor enough good people in their business to succeed like they could. This will ring alarm bells with potential investors. Who is going to back an entrepreneur who can’t manage their own diary?’

See also: Six business books every start-up entrepreneur should read

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc (previous owner of smallbusiness.co.uk) before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the...

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