SMEs triumph over adversity

Over 40 per cent of small businesses in the UK have developed creative solutions to strengthen their business during the downturn, research has found.


Over 40 per cent of small businesses in the UK have developed creative solutions to strengthen their business during the downturn, research has found.

Over 40 per cent of small businesses in the UK have developed creative solutions to strengthen their business during the downturn, research has found.

Commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the study shows that over three quarters (77 per cent) of the 500 respondents have made changes and believe that their business is stronger as a result.

Changes include switching staff roles (19 per cent), adjusting working hours (26 per cent), investing in additional staff training, motivation and rewards (33 per cent), recruiting new staff (15 per cent) and exploring new product areas (64 per cent).

Simon Woodroffe, founder of YO! Sushi and YOTEL, comments: ‘As a downturn hits, a true entrepreneur sits up and looks at how to turn a potentially difficult situation into one that can strengthen their business. This commitment to flexibility and desire to constantly evolve is at the very heart of successful enterprise.’

The underlying driver for the changes has been the economic downturn. Almost half of those that made changes (45 per cent) said they did so to take a pro-active approach to the shifting business environment. Over a third of entrepreneurs (37 per cent) said it was to ensure they are ready to capitalise when the economy is stronger. A similar number of respondents (35 per cent) said that they have adapted their business to capitalise on a new growth area.

Respondents also believe the size of their business has helped them adapt to the changing economic circumstances (89 per cent). 

Lord Young, Minister for Employment Relations, says: ‘In the face of a global downturn small businesses have developed and applied practical changes to get the best out of their people and enhance their business.’
 
The research was conducted to draw attention to the Business Link’s Employment Law Organiser – click here for more information
 

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