Operating efficiency primary concern for SMEs


Nearly half of the UK’s small businesses believe they are not operating as efficiently as they could be, according to new research.


The British Standards Institution (BSI) revealed the data to coincide with Small Business Advice Week and showed that some regions are more adversely affected than others.


Operating efficiency was of particular concern in East Anglia, Scotland and Yorkshire and the Humber where around 60% of firms considered it to be a major challenge.


A quarter of those questioned added that they felt there was room for improvement while 20% of business owners said they were involved in everything to do with their firm.


In the case of the latter, it can make it hard to boost efficiency as owners are forced to spend time on tasks that are not as beneficial to a company as others might be.


RSA data suggests that 55% of SMEs fail to survive beyond five years, highlighting the importance of tackling efficiency issues at an early stage.


How to achieve growth is also a key concern as 63% of firms suggested it would be difficult to expand, while 61% of companies were not confident they would be able to achieve sustained three-year growth.


These challenges will need to be overcome if small businesses are to be successful, or they could face financial hardship and the threat of insolvency.


Opting for restructuring methods could help to streamline a firm and improve performance, while also creating more opportunities for the company.


Efficiency is important as it impacts upon the levels of customer satisfaction that can be provided as well as on employee engagement within their roles.


Staff that feel the business is not being run efficiently can struggle with workloads and performance may even drop as a result.


A focus on good business habits can help a firm to keep its workforce motivated and engaged, but it is also important for a company to focus on individual aspects that can be improved.


Training and development can provide a boost to staff morale while this can also free up senior staff to focus on growth and sustained progress.


By Phil Smith

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