A Window of Opportunity

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					A Window of Opportunity
         Small Business Report 2011




           Compiled by Enterprise Nation
           With support from BT Regions



Small Business Report
2011
CONTENTS
Introduction                               1

BT Introduction                            2
Foreword by Colin Mason                    3
  About the author                         4
  Report partners                          4
Executive Summary                          5

10 Recommendations                         6


Economic Growth                           8
Fiscal Reform                              8
   Recommendation 1                        8
   Recommendation 2                        9
Support and Training                      11
   Recommendation 3                       12
   Recommendation 4                       13
   Recommendation 5                       16
Funding                                   19
   Recommendation 6                       19


Powerful Partnerships                     21

Infrastructure                            21
   Recommendation 7                       21
Regulation                                26
   Recommendation 8                       27


Relevant Recognition                      28

Definition and Description                28
  Recommendation 9                        28
  Recommendation 10                       29


Appendices                                31

Appendix 1 – Additional Survey Comments   31
Appendix 2 – Full Survey Results          33
  National results                        33
  Regional Results                        37
1   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




    INTRODUCTION

    T    he small business sector is undergoing significant change. The
         number of people starting a business is on the increase at the same
    time as government funds to support small business is on the decrease.

    This is a landscape that presents opportunity for:
       the government to make cost effective changes that will have positive impact
       the private sector to step in and provide quality products and services
       small business owners to help, support and mentor each other
    We are seeing signs of this emerging and examples of good practice are offered in the
    pages of this report along with 10 recommendations to government and the private
    sector on what more could be done to create an enterprising nation.
    Recommendations are based on the views of small businesses and large corporates
    who have contributed through completion of a Small Business Survey (carried out in
    March 2011 with 1,224 responses) and/or conversations held in the first half of 2011.
    The businesses that responded to the survey are micro-enterprises, employing between
    1 and 5 people, with ambitious plans to grow turnover whilst remaining small and
    nimble.
    Based on survey findings and commentary, the recommendations made will encourage
    more people to start a business and support existing businesses to grow. There are
    suggestions to help self-employed parents with business expenses, assist students with
    manageable loans and accelerate innovation in providing business support online.
    Progress cannot be made without advances in technology and the importance of
    superfast broadband availability is also addressed.
    The UK faces a clear opportunity to unleash its entrepreneurial spirit. We must act
    now to present self-employment as a viable option to the millions of people dreaming
    of turning an idea into a business and these businesses should be supported by
    products and services from the public and private sector, enabling technology and peer
    support from fellow owners.
    Campaigns such as StartUp Britain, of which I am a co-founder, are making a
    difference and having an impact. The recommendations presented here are a further
    step towards realising an enterprising nation.

                                                                            Emma Jones

           Emma Jones is founder of small business support company, Enterprise Nation
                 www.enterprisenation.com and co-founder of national campaign,
                                            StartUp Britain www.startupbritain.org
2   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




    BT Introduction
    Small and medium-sized enterprises provide an engine of growth and
    innovation. Employing 60 per cent of the private sector workforce, small
    businesses are the lifeblood of communities across the UK. This report
    highlights some of the challenges that this inspirational sector faces, and
    that we should consider carefully on our journey towards becoming an
    enterprise nation.

    Enterprise Nation’s report provides a unique insight into the views and concerns of
    small businesses, and suggests priorities for taking action. For BT, it re-emphasises the
    singular importance of technology in encouraging and supporting the development of
    new enterprise. Faster next generation broadband enables more businesses to work
    online, and, crucially, to compete more effectively and efficiently in today’s global
    markets.
    We have pledged £2.5 billion to deliver fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK premises
    by the end of 2015. This rollout programme will ensure more businesses have access to
    the broadband speeds they require and to the infrastructure that will fuel their growth.
    We understand the impact our programme can have for the UK’s social and economic
    development, and we are delivering on our commitment.
    BT will continue to work with the UK Government, Devolved Governments, local
    authorities, enterprise partnerships, and business organisations to meet the range of
    challenges facing new enterprises. By working in partnership, we can create the
    conditions that will help the UK’s small businesses to prosper and thrive, and so play
    their full part in our national economic recovery.

                                                                                         Brendan Dick

                                               Brendan Dick is Managing Director of BT Regions

    Note
    Para 1: ‘60% of private sector workforce employed by SME’ is taken from Department for Business Innova-
    tion & Skills, Economics and Statistics home page (stats.bis.gov.uk/ed/sme); 2009 data published in
    2010.
3   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




    FOREWORD
    This will be a private sector led recovery and we must promote growth
    across the entire spectrum of businesses, regardless of size, ownership,
    industry, etc.

    The importance of this report is that it reminds us of the value of the micro-business
    sector, many of which operate from the homes of their owners. This segment of the
    business population is largely invisible, falling under the radar of most official
    statistics and surveys. Yet, while the individual businesses may be small collectively the
    sector is huge. Moreover, and one of the most striking findings from the survey, is the
    growth orientation of these businesses.
    So, how can we enable these businesses to grow? This report brings some welcome
    fresh-thinking with 10 novel recommendations to encourage people to start businesses
    and support existing businesses to grow. These cover finance, new forms of business
    support, new ways of delivering conventional support (e.g. mentoring), affordable
    workspace and issues associated with ‘red tape’. In many cases the proposals are
    intended to fill the gaps in the support that have resulted from the demise of the RDAs
    in England. These proposals offer a nice blend of digital and face-to-face delivery.
    The report is surely right to see the student population as a significant source of
    business start-ups. Some will be reluctant entrepreneurs, forced to start their own
    businesses by the diminishing number of graduate jobs. But as the report notes, many
    others are interested in starting their own businesses. Certainly, compared with a
    generation ago, today’s students have a much more positive view of entrepreneurship
    (thanks ‘Dragon’s Den’!). Costs of starting a business have never been lower. And some
    sectors – notably the creative industries – the ‘job’ is disappearing to be replaced with
    freelance opportunities to work on time-limited projects.
    I welcome the recommendations in this report and would add just one more which is
    for Government to establish a Commission to develop proposals that would embed the
    development of entrepreneurial graduates at the heart of UK universities.

                                                                              Colin Mason

                   Colin Mason is Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Hunter Centre for
              Entrepreneurship, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde in
                          Glasgow. He can be contacted at colin.mason@strath.ac.uk
4   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




    About the author
    Emma Jones is Founder of small business support company, Enterprise Nation, and a
    small business author and expert. She is co-founder of national campaign, StartUp
    Britain.
    emma@enterprisenation.com



    Report partners

    Enterprise Nation
    Enterprise Nation is a small business support company providing books, kits, online
    tools, video clips, weekly classes and funding to anyone starting a business.
    www.enterprisenation.com

    About BT
    BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services
    operating in 170 countries. Principal activities include networked IT services, local,
    national and international telecommunications services, and higher value broadband
    and internet products and services.

    BT Regions
    In the nations and regions of the UK BT is at the heart of the small business
    community. Working with partners and organisations across UK Regions, BT is
    helping to stimulate and educate small businesses of all sectors to fully understand the
    role and benefits that ICT and communications can play; helping them to grasp the
    opportunities it presents to grow and prosper their business.
    For more information visit
    www.btplc.com/Thegroup/BTregions/BTregions.htm

    BT Business
    BT Business is BT’s specialist division dedicated to serving the UK’s small and
    medium-sized businesses. It works with more than 1 million businesses across the UK
    offering advice and IT and communications services that allow businesses to focus on
    what they do best – from start-ups and home-based enterprises to significantly larger
    multisite organisations.
    For more information on how BT Business can help small businesses go to
    www.business.bt.com

    With thanks to NEN
    The National Enterprise Network kindly distributed the Small Business Survey to its
    100 plus local enterprise agency members in March 2011.
    www.nationalenterprisenetwork.org
5   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




    Executive Summary
    This report will be useful for many audiences including:
        Government officials – working to drive economic growth
        Private sector executives – looking for new markets and increased engagement
        with start ups and small business owners
        Local enterprise partnerships – charged with improving economic
        competitiveness and performance at a local level
        Small business owners – with an interest in how start up and small business
        support is changing as government steps back, private companies step forward and
        small business owners step up.
    Reflecting the key priorities of these audiences, what the report shows is:
        Economic growth – will come from small businesses as confirmed in a report
        published in December 2010 by data experts, Experian highlighting ‘one in ten
        SME firms hold the key to driving future employment growth in the UK.’* To create
        champion SMEs, effort should be placed on encouraging more people to start and
        supporting existing businesses to grow. With over 1 million young people
        unemployed and 300,000 people leaving the public sector, self employment must
        be promoted as a viable option. This can be achieved by extending loans to young
        people (page 19), providing friendly and quality support at a local level to start ups
        (page 11), revising language used on public information sites (page 28) and
        introducing fiscal incentives and reform (page 8).
        Peer support – is in action across the small business community as proven
        entrepreneurs offer time to mentor young and up-and-coming business owners
        (page 17) and peers help each other on vibrant online communities powered by
        corporates and private publishers (page 16).
        Local services – are in demand as small business owners go in search of online
        support of a national or international nature but also want this backed up by local
        and face to face training (page 13) and strong connections in the form of superfast
        broadband and affordable workspace (page 21).
        Corporate providers – will find a market amongst small business owners
        looking for products and services and willing to pay for a quality experience (page
        14). To spur innovation in the delivery of support, there remains a role for
        government to facilitate (page 12) with the result being valuable support delivered
        online, on the move and on any preferred gadget!
    Progress is being made. Since the launch of national campaign, StartUp Britain, there
    has been a 25% increase in the number of people searching for the term ‘start up’
    [source: Hitwise, April 2011] and the number of private sector businesses in the UK at
    the start of 2010 increased by 48,000 [source: Department for Business, Innovation &
    Skills, May 2011]. This news is to be welcomed but there is more that needs to be done.


    *
      ‘Tomorrow’s Champions: finding the small business engines for economic growth’ Experian,
    December 2010 (www.experianplc.com/news/company-news/2010/02-12-2010)
6    A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




    10
              Recommendations
              To encourage people to start a business
              and support existing businesses to grow


     ECONOMIC GROWTH

     1.   Recognise childcare expenses as a business expense and tax
          deductible

     2. Extend and expand the National Insurance holiday

     3. Encourage innovation in business support via digital/mobile
        channels; enabling business owners to access multiple platforms
        and learn whilst on business/on the move

     4. Provide face-to-face training at local level and via the private sector
        to meet increasing demand

     5. Accelerate roll-out of mentoring from experienced business owners,
        offering guidance to the next generation of entrepreneurs

     6. Offer start up loans for students via The Student Loans Company

     POWERFUL PARTNERSHIPS

     7. Build infrastructure of superfast broadband and affordable
        workspace to create the right conditions for start-up and growth

     8. Establish HMRC partner programme with business support
        providers to facilitate open discussion and innovation

     RELEVANT RECOGNITION

     9. Introduce measures to better reflect the shape of small business
        with national statistics/indicators taking into account how
        businesses are starting and growing

     10. Revise wording on public information sites on topic of starting a
          business so it is more encouraging than off-putting
7   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




    Meet the Small Business Survey influencers
    Recommendations made in this report are based on:
       Daily discussions with small business owners who interact with Enterprise Nation
       Conversations with corporates who sponsor Enterprise Nation activity
       1,224 responses to the Small Business Survey carried out in March 2011 by
       Enterprise Nation with support from the National Enterprise Network
    Here are the key characteristics of survey respondents.


    Area                           %
    Yorkshire & The Humber         6%
    West Midlands                  7%
    Wales                          5%
    South West                     10%
    South East                     17%
    Scotland                       6%
    North West                     9%
    Northern Ireland               1%
    North East                     7%
    London                         15%
    East of England                7%
    East Midlands                  10%




    The following pages highlight findings from these discussions and resulting
    recommendations to government and the private sector.
8   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




    ECONOMIC GROWTH
    Fiscal Reform


    T    he survey shows repeated calls for taxes to be lowered and fiscal incentives
         offered. Here we profile two recommendations – on childcare expenses and
    National Insurance holidays – likely to have a positive impact on business creation and
    growth.



    Recommendation 1: Recognise childcare expenses as
    a business expense and so tax deductible
    Across the UK parents are seeing the benefits of starting a business – earning their
    own living whilst still having time for family and friends. Being your own boss means
    deciding where, when and how you work which makes self-employment attractive
    whether you’re a Mum or Dad who wants to earn in the hours when newborn is
    sleeping or the kids have left home and you’ve got more time to pursue new interests.
    To help parents of young children, we recommend research be carried out to explore
    the viability of childcare expenses being treated as a genuine business expense. This is
    a subject being championed by business owner and Mum, Cara Sayer.


    Cara Sayer: The Mumpreneur
    Central London
    Cara Sayer is inventor and founder of SnoozeShade (www.snoozeshade.com) and
    2010 Business Mum of the Year. She has launched a petition calling for childcare
    expenses to be regarded as a genuine business expense and tax deductible. This is her
    position.
    “I am asking the government to allow registered childcare as an allowable business
    expense. Putting a child into childcare is not an easy decision and at the point where a
    start up has to make that choice, they are making a conscious decision to move the
    business forward as a focus.
    I personally could have done, and could do, with this sort of support and have only
    been able to achieve the success of my own business by having a supportive husband,
    mother and friends. If I was employed I could get help via childcare vouchers.
    If I need to go to a trade show, I am able to claim travel, food and accommodation as a
    legitimate business cost. However, someone to look after my child is not an allowable
    cost yet being able to attend that trade show is a vital sales tool for my business.
    If the government wants more women in business then being able to claim the cost of
    childcare will help many of those starting up. Childcare is an expense that will help my
    business grow and, for that reason, it should be tax deductible. I’ve launched a petition
    so other parents can show their support too.”
       Childcare as allowable business expense petition:
       www.petitiononline.co.uk/petition/helps-small-businesses-grow-
       make-childcare-a-tax-deductible-expense/2556
9       A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




        Survey says
           “Pay for my childcare so I can build my business. It sounds like I’m asking for a
           handout, but I’m not. I’m more than happy to do without everything else until the




    “
           business starts performing, but there is something fundamentally wrong that
           every penny I’m earning is going to pay for childcare so that I can keep building
           my business.”
                                                                      – Bronwyn, South East



        Recommendation 2: Extend and expand the National
        Insurance holiday
        In September 2010 a National Insurance holiday came into effect as follows:
              “New businesses set up outside London, the South East and East of England
              will be eligible for a holiday worth up to £5,000 for up to the first ten
              employees they hire in their first year of business. This means a maximum
              saving on their national insurance payments of up to £50,000.”
        Source: www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_40_10.htm
        Talk to serial entrepreneur, David Brown, and you hear the request for this holiday to
        be extended, and a couple of other reliefs made available, so companies such as his can
        expand and realise their full growth potential.



        David Brown: The Serial Entrepreneur
        Central London
        “We launched Ve Interactive in 2009 as a technology company focused on helping
        online business owners convert more visitors into buyers. The company is growing fast
        and we are looking to recruit 24 staff in the next 6 to 12 months. A barrier though is
        the amount of National Insurance we will be paying on top of salaries – it immediately
        adds £10-15,000 of monthly cost and this is money that could otherwise be spent on
        hiring people as opposed to paying out more in tax. I would like to see the government
        expand the National Insurance holiday so I can dedicate more of our cashflow to hiring
        people and increasing productivity.
        “For growing companies it would also be helpful if the Enterprise Investment Scheme
        (EIS) could be simplified. At the moment, it’s beneficial for investors but if you are the
        investee company it comes with a burden to get registered and then administer. If this
        could be simplified, more companies would choose the path of raising funds from high
        net worth individuals which has to be a good thing as their experience often
        accompanies the financial commitment.
        And finally, could local authorities introduce a business rate break for start ups and
        growing businesses expanding into new space. This would recognise that we are
        bringing more employees into the local area where they are spending and entertaining
        so that’s definitely a positive contribution to the local economy.”
        David Jones is founder of Ve Interactive (www.veinteractive.com)
10       A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




         Easing the tax burden and making expenses allowable for start-ups and growing
         companies is a route to increasing self-employment and encouraging young companies
         to hire. We hope the feasibility of these fiscal recommendations will be examined.
         Survey says
            “Zero income tax for self-employed people for their first 12 months in business.”
                                                                            – Paul, North East




     “      “Lower tax rates for start up ‘sideline’ businesses. At 40% plus NI it’s a big chunk
            of a tiny trickle of income at this stage.”




         Regional Fast Fact
                                                                        – Graeme, South East




         The highest number of Limited Companies as a percentage of survey respondents were
         in East Midlands followed by South East.
11   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Support and Training

     As Regional Development Agencies and Business Links are being dismantled in
     England, there is opportunity to create a new style and shape of business support
     across the UK. The survey clearly points to what small business owners want:
        quality content online
        practical training at a local level
        mentoring from experienced business owners.
     According to our survey, the web has become the most popular source of business
     support, followed by face to face advice clinics/events and one to one guidance.




     We believe 2011 presents a year of unprecedented opportunity for invention and
     innovation when it comes to delivering business support online, on the move, and face
     to face. Here are three recommendations that will accelerate the pace of innovation
     and a range of examples of how the public and private sector is responding.
12   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Recommendation 3: Encourage innovation in
     delivering business support via digital and mobile
     channels
     Aspiring and existing business owners are going online to access features, how-to
     guides and interviews with successful case studies. There is a growing number of
     quality websites offering valuable content and information. But we could go further.
     With evolving digital and mobile technologies comes opportunity to present and
     deliver content in new and interesting ways.
     The Innovation Launch Pad which closed on 22 April
     (www.innovationlaunchpad.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/Page/Home) was a good
     example of encouraging small businesses to come forward with ideas to reduce
     government expenditure. Similarly, UKTI has recently announced a grant for the
     private sector to deliver a peer to peer platform to facilitate international trade. These
     government projects and competitions from the private sector such as the Citrix Global
     Accelerator (citrixstartupaccelerator.com) are welcomed and create an
     opportunity for the Department for Business Innovation & Skills to put a call and
     challenge to market in the form of a competition that invites entries from companies
     and individuals who have ideas/concepts/projects for the digital dissemination of
     small business content.




     Business in bite size
     Recognising that start ups and small business owners have limited free time in their
     daily schedule, business content is going bite size!

     Business Bites eBooks
     In partnership with BlackBerry, this is a series of eBooks presented in brief and
     friendly format on specialist topics such as Twitter, finance, sales, PR and doing
     business on Facebook. Details at www.enterprisenation.com

     Business on your phone
     In April 2011 former dragon James Caan launched his Business Secrets App with video
     and audio content available to business owners on the move. The App covers 8
     subjects and within 2 days reached No 1 in the Business Category of the App store with
     Apple naming it App of the Week. Sign indeed there’s demand from small business
     owners for content across all devices.

     BT Business Insight
     BT Business Insight provides articles, tips and case studies about business
     fundamentals such as starting a business, sales, employment, technology and law. See
     www.insight.bt.com
13   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Recommendation 4: Private sector provision of face
     to face training at a local level
     The web has proved itself as the channel of choice when it comes to searching for
     business tips and content but there remains a clear need for people to come together in
     the offline world to access practical help and mutual support. Over 80 % of
     respondents consider peer support will become more important over the next 12
     months.




     As well as peer support, small business owners are willing to accept advice and
     guidance from private sector companies, government agencies and, in the minority,
     their own bank.




     In terms of where support is most critically required, sales and marketing is the most
     oft-quoted subject at 42% followed by finance (24%) and Information Technology
     (15%).
14   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     The survey also shows an increasing acceptance and willingness from small business
     owners to pay for such support with the majority (47%) prepared to pay between £100
     and £500 per annum.




     BT Directories
     BT Directories offers a range of marketing services to UK SMEs to help them get their
     businesses noticed by customers. The portfolio includes printed directory advertising
     (The Phone Book from BT), online directory listings (www.bt.com/thephonebook),
     website development, hosting, search-engine marketing and e-commerce packages.
     The products offer a rich media mix which SMEs can use to maximise awareness and
     generate new business. By offering both printed and online media, BT Directories can
     offer SMEs a range of marketing solutions to suit all requirements and budgets.
     www.bt.com/thephonebook




     Based on this intelligence we recommend small business owners, large corporates and
     enterprise agencies find ways to host events that combine peer support groups and
     more practical training/clinics.
15       A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




         Survey says
            “Offer one to one business advice – there’s lots of information out there but
            sometimes you just need to speak to someone!”




     “      “Be in the community at local level”




         Regional Fast Fact
                                                            – Anonymous, East of England



                                                                               – Rob, London




         More survey respondents from London and East Midlands are prepared to pay over
         £500 per annum for business support than in any other region.


         Here are two examples of companies delivering such events.



         BT Business – Making Your IT & Comms Efficient
         and Effective
         In partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce, BT Business delivers a series
         of seminar events across the UK to local Chamber members. The events detail the real
         business benefits of today’s technology, without using jargon! The seminars are helpful
         to those setting up in business for the first time, through to more established
         businesses seeking growth.
            Details at www.britishchambers.org.uk/partnerships/bt-seminars



         Let’s Talk Business
         The Barclays Let’s Talk Business programme is a series of tailored seminars dedicated
         to those looking to set up in business. Nearly 6,000 people benefited from attending a
         Let’s Talk Business event in 2009 and 99% would recommend them to others.
         The programme of half and full day seminars is managed nationally by the National
         Enterprise Network (NEN). Seminars are delivered by NEN members and enterprise
         support organisations across England.
         This is one aspect of NEN’s work to support start ups and small businesses at a local
         level with practical and accredited support.
            Let’s Talk Business events
            www.barclays.co.uk/Seminars/FreeSeminars/P1242585910003
16   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     There are also a growing number of corporates enabling small business owners to
     come together online and share the essential peer support referred to above. Two such
     examples are:



     HP Business Answers
     Technology titan, HP, wanted to provide small business owners a place where they
     could have technology questions answered. The result is a dedicated site at
     www.hp.co.uk/businessanswers and a vibrant group on professional networking
     site, LinkedIn. On either you can find answers to questions on everything from top
     tech gadgets to cloud computing.



     Ulster Bank Small Business Can
     Small Business Can (www.smallbusinesscan.com) is an Ulster Bank initiative that
     brings together thousands of business owners to learn and talk. For Ulster Bank, it’s
     been a great success. Simon Seaton of Ulster Bank says:
     “The website is managed by the private sector in the form of the web design company
     who created it and now the small business community that populates it. Ulster Bank
     sponsorship enabled the site to be launched and we continue to support what has been
     a great initiative. Through the site, we’ve been able to engage with customers and
     hopefully provide them with the support they need to help their business succeed.”
     Whether support is being delivered online or off, the private sector is stepping in to fill
     the gap left by the dissolution of Business Link. A dose of healthy competition bodes
     well for the customer and the small business market will dictate the quality providers
     that prevail.



     Regional Fast Fact
     Finance is the most popular topic business owners want to know about in London,
     South East and East of England with Sales and Marketing being preferred topic in
     West Midlands, East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber.




     Recommendation 5: Support roll-out of mentoring
     from experienced business owners
     As above, there is clear evidence business owners are turning to peers for advice and
     support. This is sharing ideas and experiences with those at the same level and point of
     business as you. But there’s also a defined need for mentors in the shape of
     experienced business owners who have already trodden the path and can offer wise
     instruction. This is reflected in a number of survey comments:
17       A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




            “I’d have liked access to someone in the same industry who could have given me
            some valuable pointers.”
                                                                           – Jane, North West

            “Employ or work with people who currently run their own business or who have




     “
            run their own business in the past. It’s very difficult to get advice / support when
            the people you’re speaking to aren’t able to understand or even imagine what it is
            like to run a business.”
                                                                       – Anonymous, London

            “Involve business people who are working at the sharp end.”
                                                                      – Trevor, East Midlands

         Duncan Cheatle recognises the need and desire from start ups to be partnered with
         expert and experienced mentors.



         Meet your Mentor
         Duncan Cheatle is founder of The Supper Club, a group of the country’s most
         innovative and fast growth entrepreneurs who come together to share knowledge,
         experience and contacts. These same members have pledged their time to help the
         entrepreneurs following in their footsteps. In fact they pledged over 1,000 mentoring
         hours as part of the recent launch of national campaign, StartUp Britain, in what was
         one of the most popular offers on campaign launch with all hours being taken within
         48 hours!
         Duncan says:
         “Our members are successful business owners who are willing and able to help the
         next generation of entrepreneurs. They are doing this through offering their time and
         mentoring start ups via calls or meeting face-to-face. The purpose is for the start up to
         describe their business and outline aims, and for the more experienced business owner
         to offer feedback and direction. It’s proving to be incredibly popular and is an effective
         way to transfer skills from one business owner to another.”
         www.preludegroup.co.uk/what-we-do/start-up-britain


         Hours pledged from Supper Club members may have been as part of a campaign but
         this show of commitment from proven entrepreneurs should be encouraged further.
         Indeed, there is high support for mentoring from the government with the launch of a
         national mentoring programme and recruitment of no less than 40,000 mentors who
         will be on hand to help young and start-up businesses. A mentoring platform
         www.mentorsme.co.uk was launched in August 2011 as part of the project that has
         seen UK trade organisations work alongside the British Bankers Association.
         Serviced office operator, Regus, has launched a ‘Regus Executive Mentoring’ scheme
         that sees their clients being offered £2,500 worth of mentoring ‘from the UK’s most
         experienced and successful mentors’ at www.regus.co.uk/success
18       A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




         These projects are to be welcomed and experienced entrepreneurs encouraged to get
         involved but consideration should be given as to how mentors are
         rewarded/remunerated and the legal standing of their advice.
            “By all means use business mentors, but reward them for staying with a mentee




     “
            company. Don’t expect them to do a good job for free.”
                                                                 – Anonymous, South East




         Regional Fast Fact
         A majority of respondents in every region confirmed advice and support from ‘peers’
         will become more important over the next 12 months.
19   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Funding

     Funding from friends and family remains the most popular option for start ups and
     small business but the survey highlights repeated requests for grants, loans and
     general access to finance. Indeed, requests for start-up funding was the most oft-cited
     comment with 37% of respondents referencing this requirement.




     Moves are being made by Government with the Enterprise Allowance Scheme which
     makes funds and mentors available to anyone unemployed and wanting to become
     self-employed. The successful applicant remains on Jobseeker’s Allowance for three
     months which is then reduced by 50% for the next 3 months and a loan of up to £1,000
     is available to go towards start-up costs.
     As this loan is focused on a particular group, with particular needs we suggest the same
     is true for the student population and so make the following recommendation.



     Recommendation 6: The Student Loans Company to
     make available start up loans for students
     With 1 million plus young people unemployed, equal to one in three people on the dole
     being less than 24 years of age, there is a clear need to encourage young people to start
     their own business. A small start up loan, repayable once business earnings reach a
     certain level, could kick start entrepreneurial activity amongst the student population.
     In their report ‘Make a Job Don’t Take a Job’ Barbara Gunnell and Martin Bright focus
     on the question of how to encourage higher levels of enterprise amongst creative
     students.




     Make a Job, Don’t Take a Job
     The universities minister, David Willetts, has told graduates not to despair at the lack
     of jobs, but instead to consider setting up their own businesses. This “make a job, don’t
     take a job” message is particularly appropriate to the creative sector. Our research
     suggests that young people are keen to start up on their own. However, they will
     require help in terms of mentoring, advice and start–up funding. Ministers need
20       A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




         to be aware that creative people are asking for very little, but that is not the same as
         nothing at all.
         A recent survey of graduates in London revealed that half of all new graduates were
         intending to start their own businesses and a third had embarked on their degrees with
         the intention of starting their own business. [source: Hiscox Insurance, September
         2010]
         A major obstacle to creative people becoming self–employed or trying to start a
         business is finding the means to support themselves while waiting for
         careers/businesses to take off. Many will already be in debt from their university years.
         If they take a job outside their chosen field they become unavailable for any creative
         work that is available. This leaves them with difficult options: borrow further if they
         can, abandon their dream, or try to deceive the authorities.
         www.thecreativesociety.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/the-creative-
         society-make-a-job-report.pdf




         Our recommendation is for The Student Loans Company to introduce a start up loan,
         enabling students to cover start up costs and living expenses as they build cashflow in
         the business. Business owners will be asked to re-pay the loan as earnings exceed a
         certain level. The infrastructure is in place to extend and service the loans; the only
         requirement is that rather than covering living expenses during study, the loan will be
         applied to buying stock/materials for the business and financing the first few months
         of operation.


         Survey says
            “Access to finance for start ups with no security since banks will not lend without
            security or a track record regardless of core competence and skills.”
                                                                           – Ravin, South West

            “Bring back funding for businesses to get support with their design needs
            (branding/ websites) so that they can get something decent to start with. Lack of
            funding means businesses starting out are resorting to cheap and cheerful options
            which don’t target their customers or attract business.”
                                                                              – Amy, North East




     “
            “Most grants are for charities and any that my business and I would be eligible
            for are generally such small amounts that I can’t afford the time to submit an
            application.”
                                                                                – Keely, London

            “Although I don’t need this myself, low interest loans with an option for an
            extension on repayment if needed without incurring a penalty.”
                                                                                – Leona, London

            “Grant funding or loans for start-up to help with initial cash flow and investment
            as business builds.”

                                                                               – Neil, South East
21   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Powerful Partnerships
     Infrastructure


     T    o succeed, small businesses need access to fast broadband and suitable
          workspace. These two requirements are the basis for a single recommendation.




     Recommendation 7: Private and public partnerships
     to enable connectivity in the form of superfast
     broadband and affordable workspace
     58% of survey respondents confirmed on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being very important)
     that high speed broadband was essential for their business. Accessing the internet and
     downloading rich media has become a key requirement for any business owner for
     sourcing information, working with partners and, critically, selling to customers.




     It is also relevant to note responses to the question of what is most important for your
     business over the next 12 months that delivered ‘Social media’ as most important
     (35%) and cloud computing (27%) in second place.
22   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Strides are underway with the UK Government investing £530 million and placing
     universal broadband coverage at the heart of UK economic growth. A dedicated body,
     Broadband Delivery UK (interactive.bis.gov.uk/comment/bduk), has been
     created with a mission to deliver the best superfast broadband network in Europe by
     2015. BT has pledged £2.5 billion to deliver fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK
     premises by the end of 2015 “and is committed to working with central and local
     government to find innovative ways of bringing fibre to those areas which are more
     difficult to reach.”
     To date (September 2011) BT has announced 1159 exchanges as superfast broadband
     enabled benefiting 5.5million homes and businesses; a figure that will rise to 10
     million by mid 2012.



     About BT Infinity and the benefits of Superfast Broadband
     BT Infinity for business fibre is designed with businesses in mind and provides 24/7
     support, access to business applications and services. It delivers broadband speeds of
     up to 40Mb download and up to 10Mb upload, giving business users a guaranteed
     minimum speed even at peak times to keep them productive. Business traffic is
     prioritised over residential business, which is important when running business-
     critical applications. It gives businesses a dedicated broadband ‘fast lane’ allowing
     them to run applications simultaneously, download e-mails and ftp files alongside
     VoIP, cloud computing and HD video conferencing. The BT Infinity for Business
     availability checker is here: business.bt.com/broadband-and-
     internet/internet-access/fibre-broadband




     Research from Experian referenced in the Executive Summary confirmed economic
     growth is set to come from small and home based businesses. For these businesses,
     technology is a key enabler in helping them start and grow; to make sales, connect with
     partners, produce content and expand overseas. Local authorities and local enterprise
     partnerships are increasingly aware of the link of a modern technology infrastructure
     and economic growth. Three areas where partnership working is underway are
     Cornwall, Northern Ireland and the village of Iwade in Kent.



     Superfast Cornwall
     BT is working is in partnership with the European Union, Cornwall Council and
     Cornwall Development Company to deliver faster broadband across Cornwall and the
     Isles of Scilly. At least 80 per cent of homes and businesses will have access to
     superfast broadband by the end of 2014, whilst alternative technologies, such as
     wireless and satellite, will be used to boost speeds in other locations. Superfast
     Cornwall represents an investment of up to £132 million with BT providing up to £78.5
     million and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) up to £53.5 million. It
     is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs, safeguard a further 2,000 and help attract new
     businesses to the area. It is seen as an example of what can achieved when the public
     and private sectors work together to make faster broadband as widely available as
     possible.
23   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     FasterBroadbandNI
     A similar project is underway in Northern Ireland. BT partnered with the Department
     of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI) to roll-out fibre-based broadband across
     Northern Ireland. Thanks to this partnership 85 per cent of businesses in rural and
     urban areas now have access to a fibre-optic broadband connection. Further
     investment has pushed roll-out even further and by March 2012 89 per cent of all lines
     will be connected to a fibre-enabled street cabinet.

     Enhancing village life with super-fast broadband
     Iwade is a village of 1,350 homes and businesses. Though small, it has a historic
     church, a primary school, health centre, village hall, pub, post office and shops and an
     active local community. Iwade Parish Council was successful in securing a grant from
     Kent County Council to help fund investment in fibre broadband for the village. This in
     turn released further investment from BT enabling the company to deliver fibre to the
     cabinet (FTTC) services to the village.

     Making a difference to business
     Start ups and small businesses reap the benefit from partnership programmes such as
     these, including a person such as BT customer, Tristan Kimber, who runs an
     upholstery business from his workshop and showroom near Truro in Cornwall.
     Superfast broadband will be playing a vital role in his future expansion plans for the
     firm.
         “Upholstery is a traditional craft that has been in decline, but we believe we can
        use superfast broadband to grow our business and to help pass on our skills to a
        new generation. The technology will help us update and maintain our new
        website and make more use of video in our marketing. And, it will revolutionise
        the way we can communicate with our customers, some of whom live in London.
        We will be able to use on-line video calls to maintain a more personal
        relationship. The technology is helping us to improve all our business operations.
        Superfast broadband allows us to order supplies on-line and carry out internet-
        based research far more quickly; and now new state-of-the-art ‘cloud computing’
        applications, such as back-up of our files and records on-line, become much more
        viable.”
     Another business to benefit is Energy Assessments; a young business launched in
     2008 by three partners in their home town of Newcastle, N Ireland. The company
     conducts energy assessments and is rapidly winning new work in Ireland and beyond.
     Founder, Paul Sherry, says:
        “Our work is centred on large graphic files produced by architects and complex
        computer programmes to assess energy efficiency. Having a superfast fibre
        connection means we can now send and receive large files electronically and
        compete successfully. We can do all this whilst remaining in Newcastle so we can
        still pop home for lunch!”
     Nicola McKenzie is running her own business from the family home in Iwade. With
     super-fast broadband, everyone in the house can now be online simultaneously,
     accessing the internet from desktop and laptop computers, from games consoles and
     via their mobile phones. Nicola says that Superfast broadband makes her more
     productive.
24       A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




            “I can upload and download work faster, and see the results on the screen straight
            away. I can make further changes and improvements and see the impact
            immediately. The whole development process is much quicker”.
         For details of partnership working in Cornwall and Northern Ireland visit:
            www.superfastcornwall.org
            www.fasterbroadbandni.com



         BT is actively looking for opportunities to extend broadband rollout and wants to work
         in partnership with central and devolved governments, regional and local authorities,
         Local Enterprise partnerships, Enterprise Zones and industry and special interest
         partners to help bring the benefits of next generation broadband to communities who
         will benefit.
         As a small business owner, you can use the BT Broadband Postcode Checker to see if
         you can access broadband in your area
            www.btbroadbandinformation.com/bt-postcode-checker
         BT Business has also recently launched a finance scheme offering start-ups the chance
         to lease up to £15,000 worth of technology and telecommunications solutions. Under
         the ‘Kick Start Scheme’ in conjunction with Shire Leasing, new businesses trading for
         under three years will be eligible for funding subject to credit vetting. An average
         £3,000 loan will cost less than £20 per week and can be added to as the business
         grows. Details are available through BT Local Business
            www.btlocalbusiness.co.uk

         Survey says
            “I’d like improved access to decent broadband speeds in all areas of the country so
            there is no need to cover the cost of business premises and the associated travel to




     “
            get to an area with connectivity.”
                                                                           – Paul, South East

            ‘Superfast broadband would help me work more efficiently as I could download
            files and videos at speed and really make the most of the web and cloud services.”
                                                                      – Marilyn, North West

         Start Up and Small Business Workspace
         On the topic of improved connectivity, calls were also made for deals on shared
         workspace so start ups can benefit from reduced rent, creative space and introductions
         to peers. Two such hubs are thriving in the rural and urban hotspots of Coalport in
         Shropshire and Bloomsbury in London.



         Enterprise HQ – what used to be a building housing the Coalport China Works in
         Ironbridge, Shropshire, is now a modern co-working centre bringing together working
         individuals from all sorts of sectors and providing community, creativity and
         collaboration. Enterprise HQ is a new type of ‘enterprise factory’ – a productive
25   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     base for skilled creatives, engineering consultants, pr & marketing consultants, law
     firms, insurance brokers and even an artisan baker.
     A cross between a coffee shop and business centre, this co-working business on High
     Street in Coalport gives the smallest of companies somewhere to work and meet.
     Drawn by its collaborative atmosphere, Enterprise HQ is the first true co-working
     space in the region and although the concept is not new, co-working hubs are much
     more prevalent in the United States than in Rural UK, Shropshire is at the forefront of
     the pioneering new revolution in the world of work and Enterprise HQ is the
     workplace of the future.
         www.enterprise-hq.co.uk


     Central – with its first location launched in Bloomsbury, London, in April 2011,
     Central provides a welcoming and collaborative place to meet, eat, work and be
     inspired.
         “We are on the high street, just where you need us, and we want to be full of
         people who are passionate about their business, whatever that may be.”
     Central offers shared workspace, private meeting rooms and a coffee shop at front of
     house. Members host regular ‘We Show You Tell’ events that bring members together
     to meet and explore ideas and opportunities. At Central, you choose if you want to
     work solo or to buddy up to do business!
         www.centralworking.com




     There is demand for more small business hubs and this presents an opportunity for
     serviced office providers such as Regus. With the private sector working together with
     Local Authorities and, increasingly, Local Enterprise Partnerships, subsidised rates
     and rents could be extended to start ups and small business so the UK’S enterprising
     base of companies can be well and truly connected!

     Survey says
         “Extend special offers to people starting out, like reduced rent on premises for the
         first 6 months to allow you to get started and regular reduced sessions with
         recommended solicitors and finance people to ensure new starters have the
         opportunity to start properly.”




     “                                                             – Kathryn, North West

         “Designated workspaces for new start ups at cheap rents to enable those who
         cannot afford market rental rates to get started.”
                                                                         – Rachel, London
26   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Regulation

     With 91% of survey respondents confirming an ambition to grow in the next 12
     months, there is an associated call for less regulation to ease the path to growth.




     The UK Government has heeded this oft-made call for reduced red tape and responded
     with:
         A three year moratorium on new domestic regulations for smaller companies or
         those starting up and the scrapping of proposals for specific regulations which
         would have cost business over £350 million [source: ‘The Plan for Growth’ released
         in March 2011]
         The ‘Red Tape Challenge’ launched by Mark Prisk, calling on small business
         owners to sign up and speak up on which regulations should be scrapped. Within
         the first week of the site being launched, 6,000 comments were made and ideas
         offered (www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk)
     These moves are to be welcomed but there is more that could be done to ease the
     burden on small business owners, as fear of interaction with regulatory bodies remains
     a key barrier to people starting a business and dealing with tax issues is regarded as a
     restriction on growth.
     A majority of comments made in the survey centred on dealings with HMRC, and
     when asked which business function they would most readily outsource, finance was
     the most popular choice, highlighting a desire from business owners to have an expert
     deal with their tax and financial affairs.




     It is for these reasons that our recommendation on regulation is focused on HMRC.
27       A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




         Recommendation 8: Ensure strong partnerships
         between HMRC and business support organisations
         In March 2010 HMRC hosted a ‘Tax for Business’ Partner Event at HMRC
         headquarters to strengthen relations between websites and organisations providing
         support to small business and the SME team in HMRC. We believe this partner activity
         should be continued so small business websites and organisations can present the
         voice and views of their members to HMRC, a government agency that is so critical in
         the life of a small business owner.

         Survey says
            “Clarity on the best route for company formation. A mechanism would be liked
            that provided advice as to whether Sole Trader is more appropriate rather than
            Limited Company. Or Vice Versa.”
                                                                   – Will, East of England

            “HMRC causes me the most problems. Despite their attempts to force online use
            the services are only useable if you are 100% certain of the methods, if unsure




     “
            there are far too many different offices to contact, each one of which does not
            communicate with another. Post to and refunds from HMRC can take up to 3
            months to be processed, however penalties are demanded immediately and
            interest charged daily.”
                                                                        – Rita, North West

            “Remove the red tape, my business is very small currently but I am determined to
            make it grow. However I get frustrated by the amount of correspondence from the
            Inland Revenue regarding PAYE and Corporation Tax and also from HMRC re
            VAT. Surely all these could be structured with one reference number?”
                                                        – Simon, Yorkshire and Humber
28   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Relevant Recognition
     Definition and Description


     T    he final report recommendations are centred on how we define small business
          and how enterprise is described. There is opportunity for an update of both.




     Recommendation 9: Introduce new measures to
     better reflect the shape and structure of the small
     business sector
     As the Office for National Statistics is updating measurement and criteria to get a
     better grasp on the nation’s wellbeing (www.ons.gov.uk/well-being) we would like
     to see new factors introduced that recognise:
        the number of people ‘Working 5 to 9’ ie running a spare time business alongside a
        job/caring duties/retirement
        the number of businesses growing by outsourcing and subcontracting as opposed
        to hiring staff
        the shift in how business owners are defining themselves in that many people now
        have multiple professions; a web designer can also be a photographer and an
        accountant can also make earnings from handmade crafting. With portfolio
        businesses on the rise, often operating in niche areas, it makes self-definition a
        complex thing when faced with outdated standard industry codes and categories.
     The issue of definition has been clearly noted in the insurance industry where
     providers such as AXA have seen small business owners increasingly struggle with
     which boxes to tick under the question ‘what is your profession?’ as none rightly apply.




     I am a niche business
     Sarah Clements is Commercial Direct marketing manager at AXA Insurance and has
     been watching with interest the growing and sophisticated requirements of small
     businesses when it comes to sourcing a quote for their insurance policy.
     ‘With the rise of niche businesses and people who have a portfolio of occupations, the
     ability to define oneself singularly in one box has become a bit of a challenge!
     As you can imagine when it comes to insuring a business we need to know the specifics
     of what the business does and for whom to ensure the company is properly protected.
     To ensure we do offer the right level of policy we are looking at ways to change the
     online application process to allow the business owner more freedom in how they
     define their occupation(s). This will ensure they are most adequately protected and
     that we fully understand our client’s needs.’




                                                                                                .
29   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     As insurance providers such as AXA look at ways of addressing this, there is a role for
     the Office of National Statistics to do the same. Options include:
         introduce new Standard Industry Codes to reflect new professions
         introduce flexibility for those who have more than one profession
         source data from online trading sites such as eBay, Google and Alibaba.com to see
         trends in domestic and international online trading.
     Having nationwide data showing the full extent of economic activity from small
     business owners will provide an impetus to others to join what is a growing number of
     people making a positive contribution to the economy.



     Recommendation 10: Revisit wording on government
     advice portals to ensure more start up and small
     business friendly
     Research released during Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2010 showed:
        “50% of the population wants to start a business but only 5.8% are actually in the
        process of starting a business.” *
     If the remaining 45% of people turned desire into action, this would create an extra 18
     million new businesses [based on working age population of 40 million]. That’s quite a
     prospect!
     So here’s the question: how to encourage people who want to start a business take
     steps and start? In surveys and polls carried out by Enterprise Nation over the past five
     years it’s clear the main factor holding people back from becoming their own boss is
     lack of confidence and fear of failure. This is repeated in this year’s survey.
     Starting a business in the UK is seen as high risk and high cost with millions believing
     it beyond their talent and means. This is reinforced through TV and media coverage as
     well as on the Government portal for start-up advice where within 3 clicks I reach the
     ‘Day to day reality check of starting a business’ that tells me to prepare for ‘personal
     sacrifice’, ‘financial insecurity’, ‘isolation’ and ‘pressure on close relationships’. Such
     words hardly inspire me to get started! In fact, wording on this website raises the fear
     factor with an introduction to starting a business that is off-putting and misleading.
     As a matter of urgency, we must change the language used on public information sites
     to present a true picture of self-employment in a friendly and accessible style.


     Words to avoid                     Words to use

     Risk                               In control

     Failure                            Freedom and Flexibility

     Challenges                         Opportunities

     High cost                          Bootstrap budget!
30   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     When promoting self-employment as a career choice, we suggest enterprise agencies,
     central government and business support providers convey a message that becoming
     your own boss is, for the majority of people:
         Low Risk: these days it’s more risky to stay in employment than become your
         own boss!
         “From a commercial standpoint you would never advise a business to rely on one
         customer for all their income, yet that is what the majority of employees do from




     “
         one year to the next.”
                                       – Jonathan Dowden, business adviser by day,
                                                   self-employed magician by night

         Low Cost: with free and low-cost technology, a new business can be started for
         less than £50. No need to re-mortgage the house or pitch to fiery dragons!
         High return: being your own boss delivers freedom and flexibility and financial
         reward. What better way to earn money than doing something you love and get
         support from others doing the same.
     If this recommendation is adopted, it will result in many more people taking heed and
     steps to starting a new venture.



     Regional Fast Fact
     Yorkshire and Humber is the only region to have more respondents running a ‘5 to 9’
     business than a full time business. The regions to have the highest number of people
     running a full time business as opposed to Working 5 to 9 as a route into self-
     employment are North East, Wales and Northern Ireland.
31       A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




         Appendix 1
         Additional Survey Comments

         “Make accounting easier. The accounts are why people are put off of from starting a
         new business. It’s scary if you don’t have a good accountant and they cost money!”

         “Financial package and business advice of where to get help and grants, awards.”

         “Make support accessible to those who are starting up businesses while still working
         full time doing their ‘day job’ in order to finance their start-up.”

         “Allow small businesses to employ people on a freelance basis without IR35 laws.”

         “Remove VAT on fuel – it’s not a luxury it’s a necessity.”

         “Continue offering support similar to business link today with mentors, courses, etc
         as this allows increase in actionable knowledge and a chance to network with
         businesses in the same situation. Although would differentiate those who are in
         business and those who are just thinking about it. Too often I have met people who
         have been thinking about it for 7–8 months but just not done anything yet. This takes
         valuable resources away from people who need help or want to take action now.”

         “Ensure the continuation of mainstream business support provision with face to face




     “
         opportunities with advisers, particularly for ‘niche’ businesses like mine. For
         example, a good start-up adviser can give a specialist business what they need in an
         hour but which would take them at least a week to fathom from a generic online tool
         or start-up kit or a book! These resources are valuable to many mainstream
         businesses I’m sure...but an important element of the future growth of the UK
         economy will be niche and specialist start-ups like my own! (which require and
         prefer personal high level support).”

         “Make it easier/less scary to employ staff.”

         “1-2-1 support for the first 12 months by someone who can help market and grow
         very small businesses without too much initial outlay maybe in return for you doing
         the same thing for someone else once you are established and “know the ropes.”

         “More focused advice to my business area – so for creative businesses, support from
         figures in the creative world, who know the market rather than a general website
         that offers support to all types of small businesses.”

         “I’d like a flowchart Gannt Chart of the business start up process.”

         “Would like to make it easier for small businesses to quote for small government
         contracts.”

         “Good quality, trustworthy, up-to-date information in a cost effective format,
         disseminated to a local level.”

         “The banks need to start helping small businesses, we have not changed since the
         recession started, yet our bank has become unhelpful and helped by doubling our fees.”
32   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     “Please recognise businesses that aren’t registered for VAT and PAYE – wellbeing is
     achieved in many cases by setting up & running your own small business that turns
     over enough to maintain your lifestyle and ensures you have something you love
     doing keeping you motivated.”

     “Have a national business support helpline contact number and website portal that
     provides links to local business support websites like
     www.joinedupnetworks.co.uk in Shropshire which lists all the networking
     opportunities in Shropshire where local business support can be found (free.)”

     “To set up a register where start-ups can register their company detailing their
     products/services. The register should then have the ability for the start-up to ask for
     specific help in developing their business. They can list how much they are willing to
     spend on specific advice and to find out what advice is free and available. The
     register should also have a section where start-ups can tap into mentors/companies
     who can help their particular start-up. This will enable start-ups to save time trying
     to find out specific information that they cannot obtain anywhere else. The business’s
     progress can then be monitored and helped where necessary. It could also track at a
     given time, how many businesses fail and why they fail.”

     “Courses with Business Link have been very informative and certainly useful. I have
     found the tutors to have their own experiences as people who have started businesses




 “
     during their careers to be a minefield of information. The book with all the Partner
     Offers is a god send for someone like myself, as a mother working at home, so know
     that others have achieved this, and to keep in touch via Twitter, for example, just
     making contacts has so far given me inspiration and motivation that I felt I lacked
     before.”

     “Support is geared to helping me grow out of the home – I don’t want to! I have 2
     staff who are based remotely and I need help to enable me to continue with that.”

     “Having someone there that would be able to assist in areas of the business that take
     up the most time but give the least return – tax, PAYE, administration, what you can
     and cannot claim expenses as, etc.”

     “Better advice on tax/PAYE – is it intentionally confusing in order to capitalise on
     our naivety?!”

     “Make borrowing easier.”

     “Cut Red Tape. Abolish most of the ‘Health & Safety’ legislation that does not involve
     common sense. Provide more start-up and development loans to small businesses.
     Also provide discounted accountancy, taxation and IT support help for the first 12
     months of business start up.”

     “Small business lending where equity is given rather than interest charged would be
     good. Obviously this would depend on risk. Perhaps more advice on tax for small
     businesses. HMRC can be very confusing for the brand new start up.”

     “Match fund what I am prepared to pay for support £ for £ up to £5,000 a year in
     whatever way I decide to buy business support.”

     “Make it simple please.”
33   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Appendix 2
     Full Survey Results

     Total of 1,224 responses from micro-enterprises and small business owners split across
     regions as follows:


     Area                           %
     Yorkshire & The Humber         6%
     West Midlands                  7%
     Wales                          5%
     South West                     10%
     South East                     17%
     Scotland                       6%
     North West                     9%
     Northern Ireland               1%
     North East                     7%
     London                         15%
     East of England                7%
     East Midlands                  10%


     This ensured a statistically relevant number of responses from each region.



     National results
34   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011
35   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011
36   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011
37   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Regional Results


     Yorkshire and Humber

     Legal entity
     Limited company              38%
     Sole trader                  52%
     Partnership                  10%
     Full time                    45%
     Part time                    55%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          20%
     No                           80%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          69%
     No                           31%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   50%
     Taking on staff              28%
     Other                        22%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              8%
     Sales and marketing          64%
     International expansion      6%
     IT                           18%
     Other                        4%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   21%
     £100 – £500                  73%

     Over £500                    6%
38   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     West Midlands

     Legal entity
     Limited company              25%
     Sole trader                  60%
     Partnership                  10%
     Not yet registered           5%
     Full time                    75%
     Part time                    25%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          10%
     No                           90%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          95%
     No                           5%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   35%
     Taking on staff              25%
     Other                        40%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              10%
     Sales and marketing          50%
     International expansion      15%
     IT                           15%
     Other                        10%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   60%
     £100 – £500                  40%
     Over £500                    0%
39   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Wales

     Legal entity
     Limited company              10%
     Sole trader                  90%
     Partnership                  0%
     Not yet registered           0%
     Full time                    95%
     Part time                    5%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          83%
     No                           7%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          100%
     No                           0%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   37%
     Taking on staff              18%
     Other                        45%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              13%
     Sales and marketing          32%
     International expansion      0%
     IT                           52%
     Other                        3%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   17%
     £100 – £500                  73%
     Over £500                    10%
40   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     South West

     Legal entity
     Limited company              8%
     Sole Trader                  73%
     Partnership                  0%
     Not yet registered           19%
     Full time                    78%
     Part time                    22%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          65%
     No                           35%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          100%
     No                           0%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   54%
     Taking on staff              23%
     Other                        23%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              8%
     Sales and marketing          51%
     International expansion      18%
     IT                           0%
     Finance                      16%
     Other                        7%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   55%
     £100 – £500                  40%
     Over £500                    5%
41   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     South East

     Legal entity
     Limited company              56%
     Sole trader                  43%
     Partnership                  1%
     Not yet registered           0%
     Full time                    64%
     Part time                    36%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          44%
     No                           56%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          92%
     No                           8%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   41%
     Taking on staff              23%
     Other                        36%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              8%
     Sales and marketing          12%
     International expansion      9%
     IT                           13%
     Finance                      47%
     Other                        11%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   46%
     £100 – £500                  36%
     Over £500                    18%
42   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Scotland

     Legal entity
     Limited company              18%
     Sole trader                  64%
     Partnership                  18%
     Not yet registered           %
     Full time                    62%
     Part time                    38%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          77%
     No                           23%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          88%
     No                           12%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   41%
     Taking on staff              39%
     Other                        20%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              13%
     Sales and marketing          27%
     International expansion      31%
     IT                           8%
     Other                        21%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   28%
     £100 – £500                  72%
     Over £500                    0%
43   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     North West

     Legal entity
     Limited company              53%
     Sole Trader                  47%
     Partnership                  0%
     Not yet registered           0%
     Full time                    75%
     Part time                    25%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          42%
     No                           58%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          95%
     No                           5%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   60%
     Taking on staff              28%
     Other                        12%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              5%
     Sales and marketing          33%
     International expansion      4%
     IT                           48%
     Other                        10%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   8%
     £100 – £500                  78%
     Over £500                    14%
44   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     Northern Ireland

     Legal entity
     Limited company              50%
     Sole trader                  50%
     Partnership                  0%
     Not yet registered           0%
     Full time                    100%
     Part time                    0%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          54%
     No                           46%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          100%
     No                           0%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   84%
     Taking on staff              7%
     Other                        9%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              2%
     Sales and marketing          73%
     International expansion      5%
     IT                           8%
     Other                        12%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   8%
     £100 – £500                  85%
     Over £500                    7%
45   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     North East

     Legal entity
     Limited company              21%
     Sole trader                  68%
     Partnership                  0%
     Not yet registered           11%
     Full time                    96%
     Part time                    4%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          18%
     No                           82%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          97%
     No                           3%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   48%
     Taking on staff              47%
     Other                        5%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              6%
     Sales and marketing          48%
     International expansion      0%
     IT                           21%
     Finance                      15%
     Other                        10%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   53%
     £100 – £500                  40%
     Over £500                    7%
46   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     London

     Legal entity
     Limited company              38%
     Sole trader                  42%
     Partnership                  8%
     Not yet registered           12%
     Full time                    62%
     Part time                    38%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          29%
     No                           71%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          88%
     No                           12%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   55%
     Taking on staff              28%
     Other                        17%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              9%
     Sales and marketing          26%
     International expansion      11%
     IT                           0%
     Finance                      51%
     Other                        3%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   28%
     £100 – £500                  38%
     Over £500                    34%
47   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     East of England

     Legal entity
     Limited company              48%
     Sole trader                  33%
     Partnership                  11%
     Not yet registered           8%
     Full time                    81%
     Part time                    19%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          40%
     No                           60%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          97%
     No                           3%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   79%
     Taking on staff              13%
     Other                        8%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              5%
     Sales and marketing          16%
     International expansion      0%
     IT                           18%
     Finance                      39%
     Other                        22%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   72%
     £100 – £500                  28%
     Over £500                    0%
48   A Window of Opportunity | Small business report 2011




     East Midlands

     Legal entity
     Limited company              71%
     Sole trader                  18%
     Partnership                  0%
     Not yet registered           11%
     Full time                    80%
     Part time                    20%


     Employ staff
     Yes                          48%
     No                           52%


     Plan to grow
     Yes                          91%
     No                           9%


     How to grow
     Subcontracting/outsourcing   36%
     Taking on staff              24%
     Other                        40%


     In the next 12 months in which areas do need most support?
     Taking on staff              10%
     Sales and marketing          38%
     International expansion      3%
     IT                           24%
     Finance                      15%
     Other                        10%


     How much would you be prepared to pay for support?
     Up to £100                   33%
     £100 – £500                  34%
     Over £500                    33%

				
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