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Groundbreaking business survey aims to deliver a ‘pulse check’ on SME confidence

TOPICAL business challenges such as rising costs, marketing challenges, employee retention, and imminent employment law changes are due to be discussed in the fourth annual SME Business Survey. 

 Small and medium-sized enterprises trading in the UK are being urged to share the obstacles they expect to face over the next 12 months as part of the barometer, organised in partnership with other firms, by HR specialists HR Solutions. 

This is the fourth consecutive year that the award-winning human resources experts have run the study, which they use to gain a deeper understanding of the economic landscape and discover how SMEs plan to navigate the changing business climate. 

This time around, HR Solutions is partnering with local digital marketing firm qoob and Pulse Group Media – publishers of Business Times and Business MK, the region’s leading business newspapers – on the survey. The team anticipate that the collaboration with these market leaders in publishing and digital marketing will strengthen the survey’s authority and reach and therefore provide greater insight into how SMEs are currently faring. 

The SME Business Survey was originally launched in the middle of the pandemic in 2020 and since then has provided powerful and valuable insights into the problems SMEs face in day-to-day operations, workforce management and planning for the future. 

Last year’s survey showed finances were a higher priority than ever before, with businesses citing recession, rising costs and retention of staff as their biggest worries. 

HR Solutions uses all questionnaire data to produce an annual report addressing the issues raised and suggest recommendations for SME business owners to overcome the challenges.  

The firm also creates a bank of resources each year, including webinars, advice, templates and guides to help companies tackle their identified issues more effectively. During 2023, this has included seminars on the cost of living crisis and employee retention, guides on employment law bills and EU reform and polls on the four day working week and artificial intelligence. 

Greg Guilford pictured left, chief executive of HR Solutions, said: “With our survey now in its fourth year, it has been enlightening to see the shift in mindset of SMEs during that time. Financial performance and securing new business were at the forefront of owner directors’ minds in 2023 but, despite the challenges, the support network we have created in response to the survey has meant that we have provided numerous businesses with opportunities for growth and development. 

“We are proud to be able to provide this annual pulse check on the SME economic landscape and we are grateful to all those who take part in the survey and the subsequent support sessions as this enables us to collect useful information which can really make a difference. The results of the survey help us to predict the key factors influencing businesses in the coming year and share insight on how to overcome challenges. 

“The more people that we can encourage to complete the survey, the better understanding we have on what support SMEs need right now. The survey is available online now and it is simple and speedy to take part. Please do get involved and help us to help you.” 

Pulse Group Media director Martin Lewis-Stevenson said: “It is so important that the entire business community has the data to endorse their individual concerns and challenges in the current economic climate. That is why Business Times and Business MK, the area’s leading business newspapers, are involved with this survey.

“We want to reach as many of the business community in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes as possible in order to glean as much information as we can that will help businesses across the region to grow and thrive.” 

Matthew Rigby-White, chief executive of qoob, added “I am thrilled for qoob to be a part of this partnership. We believe in the power of collaboration and the importance of understanding the challenges that SMEs face, especially in these uncertain times.

“Our involvement in the SME Business Survey aligns perfectly with our ethos of questioning, observing and optimising and daring to be bold. We are committed to using our digital marketing expertise to help SMEs navigate their unique challenges and achieve their business objectives.

“This partnership provides us with an opportunity to gain deeper insights into the SME landscape, which will enable us to better serve our clients and contribute to the wider business community.” 

To take part in the 2023 SME Survey visit www.hrsolutions-uk.com/sme-business-survey before the end of the year.

Companies mentioned in this article


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