Approaching 2019, our survey of 3,000 SMEs reports there is confidence they can continue to prosper, despite economic uncertainty, disruptive technologies, and threats to global trade. There is a notable shift in attitudes toward technology, as SMEs deploy it to increase both top and bottom lines.
What are the key strategies used by SMEs to be successful?
Oxford Economics has a growing research practice focusing on SME strategies
SMEs have long been the backbone of the economy, typically representing more than half of mature economies’ output, three quarters of private sector employment and over 90% of the number of firms. At a time of rapid technological change and industry disruption, they play an important role in driving innovation, disrupting incumbents and building the next generation of fast-growing companies. Yet at the same time, many are vulnerable to these same forces of change, and may have difficulty accessing the resources of their larger competitors, such as funds to invest in the latest tech or to attract the brightest talent.
The Thought Leadership team carries out research to understand how SMEs view their business environment, their threats and opportunities and the strategies they are developing to thrive in the years ahead.
Examples of our SME strategies work include:
This study was based on a survey commissioned by American Express of 3,000 SMEs in 12 countries. We reported significantly higher confidence levels and that, in order to drive competitive advantage and sustainable growth, SMEs were evolving their strategies, applying their strong attributes of agility, innovation and strong customer relationships while working hard to attract talent and effectively use technology.
As new digital tools become available, SMEs need more business support and better value banking services. Based on a survey of 550 British small businesses, the potential benefits to the UK could be substantial — a 10% improvement in productivity worth £70 billion.