1953383Lord Young, the Government Enterprise Adviser, published his second report ‘Growing your Business: A report on Growing Micro Businesses’ Micro businesses have less than 10 employees and make-up 95% of businesses in the UK. Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) know their importance to the growth of the UK economy, what is surprising is that the Government have taken so long to realize this.  

Lord Young is quoted as saying “we need to raise the aspirations and confidence of these businesses and give them (micro businesses) the tools to grow”. In my experience as a business growth consultant and mentor, micro businesses have great aspirations and confidence in their businesses, what they lack is the confidence in government policies. Sensible policies to create the environment in which businesses can grow will build confidence; such as a reduction bureaucracy, a lightening of the tax burden on SMBs and an investment in infrastructure projects like faster speeds and wider coverage of broadband. 

I am not intending to undermine this government initiative, I agree with a fairer public procurement practices which in the past has favoured large companies. I would like to see a commitment to pay SMB contracts within 30 days.

I agree with Lara Morgan of Company Short Cuts, “Start-up businesses should have to sweat to prove themselves first”.  It is a natural fact of life that some businesses will fail, failure is feedback from which good business people learn and put this learning into their next business, what right-minded person or organisation would invest in a start-up when failure is a strong possibility? 

If you are going to invest, bet on growth businesses not start-ups. 

“The UK’s creative economy is one of its great national strengths” states “It provides jobs for 2.5 million people – more than in financial services, advanced manufacturing or construction, this creative workforce has grown four times faster than the workforce as a whole. Behind this success lies much disruption and business uncertainty, associated with digital technologies, young companies from outside the UK have dominated new internet markets, and some UK creative businesses have struggled to compete.”

Lord Young’s report defines growth as the ‘taking on of employees’, micro businesses are realising the benefits of flexible working, contracting freelancers and partnering with other micro businesses; currently 75% of micro businesses have no employees. The environment for working is changing and will continue to change. Economic uncertainty has swept away previously profitable business models, influenced by the internet new ways of working are evolving. 

I commend this attempt at creating the conditions to support Micro businesses but policy makers need to be brave and adopt some of Lara Morgan’s ‘Business Balls’ The UK needs innovative policies that will create a business environment fit for 2025 not 2010. My advice is start with the end in mind ‘what do we want the UK business environment to look like in 2025?’ 

What do you think?

View Lara Morgan on The Business Show interview

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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.


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