By Jason Yeomans, Managing Director, PMGC
As somebody running a small business in the UK my biggest issue is with the seemingly constant sentiment of doom and gloom. Nobody would deny that things are tough, but we need to start focussing on the success stories, because there are many examples of UK small businesses that are growing revenues, profits, workforce and offerings.
I welcome the Business Bank initiative but as with all these initiatives the key will be ensuring that funding actually gets to those who need it. My experience so far of these types of schemes is that whilst they operate with good intentions the people who are put in place to run them are often from an institutional investment background which means that their attitude to risk is somewhat different to that of an entrepreneur, meaning it can be hard to secure approval for funding.
We need to have some honest conversations about who oversees these kinds of initiatives. Institutional investors think entrepreneurs are too risky and entrepreneurs think institutional investors are to rick averse to support them.
In an economy like this, Angel Investors are the ones who understand best the concept of calculated risks as they are usually successful entrepreneurs in their own right. The Government needs to do more to engage this group of people in funding for small business initiatives.
Aside from direct funding, the Government should be looking at ways to incentivise innovation and new ways of working. With today’s technology it is very easy to have a large workforce without needing to operate costly office spaces. Underlying trends in business should also be looked at closely to ascertain if there are longer term opportunities which can be created. Let’s ensure that changes made now are not knee-jerk reactions to macro-economic conditions, but rather are geared to long term, sustainable growth.