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Industry Leaders Offer Insight to Small Businesses at ICAEW Panel Event

  • Small Business Advice week celebrates its 14th year
  • Small Business Advice Week hosts panel event at ICAEW offices
  • Industry leaders from sectors such as technology, finance, and accountancy advise SMEs

This week marks the 14th Small Business Advice Week. Business is at the forefront of discussion as the Brexit process marches on and with shows such as Dragons Den back on TV and the 13th series of The Apprentice following soon, business is on Britain’s mind.

This Small Business Advice Week industry leaders are sharing their seasoned knowledge with the UK’s crucial 4.5m SMEs and budding entrepreneurs. The 31st of August saw a panel of six experts offer their take on the challenges which face the nations SMEs. At the event which was hosted in the prestigious ICAEW head office one theme dominated – the admiration of the courage and adaptability that our nation’s entrepreneurs demonstrate.

The average yearly profit of small businesses is £13,000[i]. The panel were united that prudent financial decisions should be front of mind for small businesses. Julian Przygrodzki, Director of Brand Marketing at XLN Business Services championed apprenticeship schemes, “in light of one full time employee costing far more than the average annual profit a small business makes, SMEs should offer life changing opportunities to young people. The Government offer help to small businesses which are supporting young people via these schemes”. Ross Humphreys, BSP Manager at 9Spokes agreed, “Praise youth and it will flourish.” Ross also emphasised that alongside staff, technology can add value to businesses “Learn how you can adopt and integrate cloud based software and find the applications which are most suitable”.

Paul Marston, Managing Director of Commercial Finance at RateSetter, encouraged small businesses to consider alternative finance options and evaluate how they are spending their time, advising SMEs to “take the time to work on their business, rather than in it”.

Chris Ross, SVP Sales, International at Barracuda gave warning that SMEs are not immune to the high profile threat of cyber-attacks which have recently blighted many major institutions. “48% of SMEs have already experienced a ransom attack. 1 in 6 resulted in the business being offline for 24 hours. How long do you think your business could survive being offline?” Ross Humphreys was however keen to reassure businesses that despite these threats “technology should not be feared”.

Both Sion Lewis, CEO of the Accountancy & Education Division at IRIS Software Group, representing KashFlow and Clive Lewis, Head of Enterprise at ICAEW highlighted the importance of hiring an accountant. Sion pointed out “SME owners didn’t set up to do reporting and accounting so this isn’t what they should be focusing on” Clive added that the advantages of hiring a good accountant are that “They will give you feedback on how successful your business is and help you manage cash flow”.

Adam Cox, Founder of Small Business Advice Week said “This is the 14th year of Small Business Advice Week and it was fantastic to have such high calibre experts attending the first ever Small Business Advice Event. Thought leaders from the fields of technology, finance, telecoms and cyber security were on hand to offer practical advice for small business owners that don’t have the resources and manpower of larger companies. Since there was limited capacity at the event the advice can be seen on the Small Business Advice Week website”.

Videos of each panellist discussing the event and offering advice can be found under the current partners tab at; www.smallbusinessadviceweek.co.uk

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