The Government is in the forefront of encouraging new business support provisions for SMEs. It has reorganised Business Link and done away with the local one-to-one advice provided from trained advisors and replaced them with a website.
In a recent Forum of Private Business (FPB) poll only one in ten of the respondents indicated that the support provided was adequate while 20% said it was not. Further, more than half thought that the information was inadequate to aid growth.
Mentoring and coaching now appear to be favoured by government as the best way to support SMEs and are supporting organisations and individuals who give their time free of charge. However some restrictions are placed on what they do. This means for instance that coaches cannot give advice! Whilst there are, no doubt, many good people providing good support amongst these organisations, the overall quality of these coaches and the services they provide may not suit the majority of SMEs seeking practical help and advice. For instance many of the coaches recruited are retired bank managers and the like. By the very definition bank managers have never run a business and it seems doubtful that they could assist a company that is ambitious and wants to grow but need help to develop a strategic marketing plan for instance.
The private sector provides a range of business support services. These organisations are staffed and run by business people who have run their own businesses (and by definition of being in the private sector, still run their own businesses) and are highly qualified in a range of different disciplines. Ambitious SMEs are willing to pay for quality help, support and advice as they know that the return will be substantial and will benefit their business in both the short and long term.
If you would like to explore how business support can help your company contact Bob Francis on 07941 426807 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org