Strategic management of SMEs called into question

SMEs have a lack of faith in people in charge, as businesses strive to achieve potential.

SMEs have a lack of faith in people in charge, as businesses strive to achieve potential.

UK small and medium-sized companies are questioning whether they have the right people in charge to succeed, research finds.

The Road to Growth report by ABM AMRO Commercial Finance reveals that more than two thirds (69 per cent) of SMEs are planning to grow over the next one to two years but that nearly half (44 per cent) of senior decision-makers do not think they have the right people in place to reach their potential.

Some 55 per cent of decision-makers admit delaying strategic decisions during the tough economic period, but now nearly six in ten (58 per cent) are more actively considering growth opportunities than they were last year.

However, two fifths (40 per cent) feel their business is currently stuck in a state of limbo, putting their ambitious growth goals in peril.

The research, which surveyed 450 SMEs with under 250 employees and turnovers of less than 20 million, shows that almost a quarter (22 per cent) of respondents believe that it is the differing priorities of business leaders that are holding their company back.

One in four decision-makers (24 per cent) believe differing growth priorities have become more pronounced during the recession and nearly a third (31 per cent) of business leaders admit they have very different business growth priorities from their counterparts.

Peter Ewen, managing director at ABN AMRO Commercial Finance says, ‘With the recent positive economic news, it’s great that SMEs are thinking about growth again. With renewed enthusiasm, the SME community can really help turn these new green shoots into a sustainable recovery.

‘More than ever though, SMEs need the right people in charge, to think about succession planning and exit strategies for shareholders, have the right backing and a clear direction of travel if they are to turn their business ambitions into economic reality.’

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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