Why a Smaller Businesses survey?
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Ninety-eight percent of the UK's businesses are small, and in economic terms it
is these small and growing businesses that deliver the benefits. Yet it is big
business that has all the influence. This is partly because information on big
businesses is easier to compile, and partly because issues affecting them get
instant and widespread publicity and are well represented in government.
By comparison, information about small businesses is harder to compile and is
rarely given strong representation where it matters. Moreover, when the
information is available, it often comes too late.
The UK Business Barometer changes this. It provides a simple mechanism enabling
every kind of small business to have a direct and immediate voice.
Decision-makers can consider current issues, and know how they are affecting
small businesses as they happen, rather than waiting weeks or even months, by
which time it may be too late to react.
The UK Business Barometer was originally developed as the East Midlands
Business Barometer at the Institute for Enterprise and Innovation in the
Nottingham University Business School by Professor Martin Binks and the Barometer Project Team. Click here to contact us.
For many years the business school has had close links with government bodies
at local, regional and national levels, as well as with industry. It is ideally
placed to ensure that the results and analyses from the Barometer reach those
who can use them to best effect, in the.interest of small businesses.
All personal and company data is confidential and is protected by Nottingham
University Business School.
How it works
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The survey is fully internet based, updating results in real-time. Each month,
registered companies are asked to respond to an online questionnaire that takes
approximately 2 minutes to complete. No postage or paper is involved.
Small businesses are asked for their views on a set of twelve questions. Some
of these relate to the performance of the business, and are repeated month on
month. Others reflect topical issues and areas of policy that affect small
Barometer participants are encouraged to highlight particular areas of concern,
which may then be investigated in future surveys.
To register, firms are asked to provide brief details about their business such
as age, size and location. This will be updated on an annual basis, although
significant changes can be reported during the year.
All information collected is confidential, and results are used to pass on the
views of Business to national and regional policy makers, and for further
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The UK Business Barometer provides a mechanism to enable every kind of small
business to have a direct and immediate voice, on a regular basis, to local,
regional and national government.
In addition, small businesses will be able to benchmark their own performance
against national averages.
Other organisations can benefit. These include:
Support agencies such as the Small Business Services, Learning Skills Councils,
Local Authorities and others, who will be able to target their resources more
effectively according to the needs of local businesses
Universities, who will gain a better understanding of businesses' requirements,
helping their graduates and aiding their research. This can then influence the
way students are prepared for employment and the way technology is transferred
into the private sector
Other organisations, such as trade associations and small business media, who
will use the Barometer and the up-to-date information that it provides.
The more companies that participate, the better the quality of the results. So
please register your business, and tell
any colleagues who may also be able to benefit.