What is an SME's problem?

Grant Thornton took on the delivery of GrowthAccelerator a couple of years ago.  The program has seen significant success with around 12k SME's having now signed up and benefited.

The recent study of the first 10k businesses has produced some interesting statistics which many SME's can doubtless relate to:

Top barriers to growth:

  • 40%  Strategy
  • 39%  People & skils
  • 35%  Marketing
  • 23%  Finance

Understandably, people and skills become less of an issue as a business grows.  

Over 30% of those surveyed said that not having the time to step back from the business to focus on the strategy of the business was one of the key barriers to moving forward.  In fact the survey showed that less than 1 in 5 small businesses regularly set aside time to work on their business strategy.   

This was closely followed by an inability to determine the best way to achieve growth and the fact that the majority of business spend 2 hours or less per week 'leading' the business.

These statements are familiar to anyone in business consultancy and are some of the key reasons why GrowthAccelerator works well for relevant businesses.  Having external help gives you a reason to stop working 'in' the business and forces you to take the time to work 'on' the business.

Senior members of the business typically know what most of the issues are but find it difficult to step back from the day to day and take the necessary time to make what can be tough decisions.  An external coach or consultant can often be the catalyst that a team or a business needs.  The survey showed that 90% of those businesses that paid for help found it helpful and three quarters believed it helped their business achieve key milestones more quickly. 

Ultimately, the survey showed success is about people, their ambition and leadership.