Now that I’m precluded from making further comment on Brexit – it would amount to a campaign contribution apparently and I’m not registered to campaign – I can turn to more mundane matters. Whether we are in or out of Europe, we will still need to pay our way in the world and grow our economy, otherwise we will end up with “no wealth, and no health service”.
Attention in the SME world has been moving from S to M: it’s felt we have got a dynamic culture to create businesses but are less good at growing them to substantial concerns. So enter The Government Initiative – this one entitled Growth Builder- created with your and my tax revenues to assist Medium businesses deal with their principal challenges, which it has identified as hiring and managing people; raising finance and strategy.
I don’t know about you but that didn’t surprise me.
I don’t know about you but I thought that Cranfield’s Growth programme, Shirlaws, The Prelude Group (Supper Club), Vistage, The Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, Fast Growth Forum, and The Association of Business Mentors, to name but a few, are already available to provide support in these and other areas. Its USP seems to be peer support. But all of the organisations I listed are composed of proven business people. In fact there are so many now that one more just adds to the plethora of choices. There are new ones popping up all the time even without Government largesse: Charlie Mowat has started a blog in order to share his experiences and yours truly has created a whole YouTube channel with tips on raising finance, crisis management and selling your business.
So really Sajid thanks for the time spent thinking about us but no thanks. We don’t need it, especially if it’s free, (the website is rather vague: marketing assistance required?) which would mean that, as well as being unfair competition, it may be state aid (which is cited as the obstacle when I suggest something really useful like export tax credits and EFG guarantees for lending secured on IP).
What we could do with is a medium to enable us to look at what is available and choose the right people to listen to. Perhaps BIS could promote us all through a portal for Medium sized businesses, together with TripAdvisor type feedback, which is the coming thing in business advisory services. That would be a rare sight indeed.