Business Support “must include face-to-face advice”

Small firms must continue to have access to free face-to-face advice under the Government’s plans to reform UK business support, the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies has said. The business group’s new chief executive, Dawn Whiteley, said she was concerned that the face-to-face element of Government-backed business advice may be lost once the Business Links are removed in November this year. She said that the new Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) must include face-to-face guidance in their activities, and called enterprise agencies and other business support groups to do all they can to fill any gaps. “We strongly believe there needs to be some face-to-face support. We know there is less money available, but we don’t want this valuable aspect of business support to be tak... »

7 out of 10 Firms Seek Face-to-face Advice

Small firms are turning to trusted sources for advice as the economic climate, cashflow and bad debt become their dominant problems according to the 100th Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain released today by The Open University Business School, association with Barclays Bank and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Most (71%) want face-to-face contact for new advice and information and are turning to their accountants (55%) and business trading partners (51%) such as customers, stockists, and suppliers. Previous years saw an increase in the use of electronic media such as email (64%) and websites (62%). Use of hard copy publications like pamphlets, directories and guides has declined (down to 27%, from 54% in 2002 and 45% in 2007). Professor Robin Jarvis, h... »

Face-To-Face Networking Essential for Small Firms

Face-To-Face Networking Essential for Small Firms

More than a third of small firms believe that networking face to face is still crucial to the success of their business, despite the massive increase of online networking, research by events organiser Business Scene has found. The survey of 500 small businesses also revealed that 66 per cent attend networking events at least once a week. Of those that network face to face, 44 per cent have made more than £1,000 from it in the last year and 20 per cent have made more than £10,000. “Online networking is good for making initial contact, but it’s no replacement for face-to-face networking when it comes to winning new business,” said Business Scene founder, Warren Cass. “People are starting to think about where their next deal is coming from, and they realise... »