Small and medium-sized enterprises, also known as SMBs or SMEs, account for over 95% of firms and 60% - 70% of employment which generates a large share of new jobs in the OECD Economy. This is consistent across a range of countries such as France, Australia, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Ireland, Iceland, US, UK.
SMEs are also expanding in Middle Eastern countries such as the UAE which includes powerhouse economies such as Dubai, where they account for 42% of the workforce and around 40% to the total value-add generated in Dubai’s Economy.
Is Increasing Complexity a Threat to Small Businesses?
When it comes to buying and selling, small business owners are pretty good at that – every company is founded and has been built to do those things. But operating a small business in the 21st century has become more complicated than ever before, which is why people who know small business know the best way to find out what’s really going on is to ask the owner what keeps them up at night. And that’s what we did!
Three Examples of SMBs Understanding Tech, Yet Failing to Deliver a Complete Solution
- An estimated 50% of the SMEs across Dubai indicated having a website but only 6% of them have online ordering capabilities or eCommerce features built into their websites. What a huge missed opportunity!
- Some SMB companies may understand what marketing automation is but misuse it most of the times! The technology itself is rarely the root cause of poor lead generation performance, but rather that businesses never look at the process, people, and content for the highest impact levers to pull. This can also be translated into 'too much focus on brand building, not enough focus on lead generation'.
- Mention software training in most or any conference room, and you're likely to hear groans, boredom, bad classroom experiences, lack of interest, or complexity can all contribute to employees' resistance to learning new applications. But that doesn't change the fact that insufficient training ranks as the fifth common tech mistake impacting small businesses.
It's estimated that office staff understand less than 20% of the available features in the software applications they use. That means 80% of the features, time-saving capabilities, and cost-reducing functions remain unused.
What’s the Solution?
We decided to interview a couple of our SMB customers to get their insights on how they’ve tackled challenges like these.
We caught up with Jim Maher, Director at Trigraph Professional Training, on what some of the top concerns his training company has faced over the years.
Concern #1: Staying in Control
I call it ‘keeping the finger on the pulse’, and as a small business it’s always important to know how you stand after a crisis, what measures to take, and how to move on. This was one of the reasons I implemented the Administrate system! To keep track of all the aspects through Administrate and have visibility over the whole operation with its expected cost and revenue.
This correlates strongly with what we hear from our hundreds of global customers: poor visibility of training operations kills businesses, especially when you are starting out. Business owners need to be able to quickly access key aspects of the operation, financials (both revenue and costs), changes that occur, and what every employee is up to!
Simply put - small training companies need to be in control over everything!
Concern #2: Uncertain Economic Conditions
In a recent survey of more than 20,000 NFIB members, these small business owners responded that their greatest challenges weren’t the competition or social media or online retailers.
What is the numero uno greatest small business challenge? Drum roll, please - uncertain economic conditions!
Small businesses are directly affected by any economic instability. This feeling is echoed by Administrate’s customer Lesley Millar, Director at One Study Training, when she said:
When things are unstable, we don’t know where the next problem is coming from or the next opportunity. What will happen next? We are always concerned about next steps and risks we have to take!
Concern #3: Personnel and Management Challenges
Small firms often need to upgrade their management skills as they grow, not just their tech. They often forget to invest in staff training and development.
Concern #4: Cost Control
When asking Lesley Millar her top concern about the training businesses she is managing she summed it up in two words:
Small and medium start-ups have a wide range of costs to cover! Ranging from staff, rent, office supplies and so much more.
Administrates reporting system helped One Study Training replace their manual reports with reports built through the system. They can now easily keep track of their finances and daily costs and even export them to Excel or CSV files.
Concern #5: Where Do We Stand?
Small and medium businesses often confuse themselves with large companies. They tend to compete with the larger players in the market and forget that they have their own sector to target.
Administrate is always here to help! Our training and learning management software helps you keep track of your reporting, finances, marketing data, and more - all in ONE place! This means no need for multiple software for different uses.
You can also learn more about what we do and where we operate by booking a FREE DEMO with one of our product experts!
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