Question 4 in the January 2005 survey asked from what single regulation would small businesses choose to be exempted, if they were allowed. Panellists were given the opportunity to provide a text response with no prompting.
Almost two thirds of the respondents wished to be exempted from employment regulations, often pointing out how disproportionately burdensome these can be for small firms. Several highlighted the difficulties in dispensing with the services of employees (8%), others cited Health and Safety (8%), whilst maternity/paternity leave regulations were a concern of 13%.
Around one third of respondents, very rationally, wished to be exempt from tax regulations in respect of corporate tax, general taxation, and VAT.
All the actual responses are listed in the UKBB website with the Survey results for January.
49% of UKBB respondents think that fast growth businesses find it more difficult to cope with regulation than other businesses, although 31% think it is about the same for all businesses.
In previous editions of the UKBB, panellists have been questioned as to the type of 'adviser' they prefer. The following set of 6 questions sought to break that down by type of advice sought. Each question was 'shadowed' in the UKBAB by asking advisers to whom a 'typical' small business would first turn for advice in each of the areas.
The first area was Finance and an Accountant was the most popular choice in both surveys, with 52% of UKBB responses and 65% of UKBAB responses. The second choice of UKBB respondents was Business Adviser, with 19% of responses and only 11% thought they would consult a Banker.
The second area was technical advice. Clearly this covers vastly different issues according to the type of business, and could range from specialist precision instrumentation to IT systems or stand alone cash registers, giving rise to a wide dispersion of responses. 43% of UKBB responses were in the Specialist category.
In the area of legislation, 40% of UKBB respondents would refer to a specialist and 30% would consult a trade association or representative group. 11% would go to a Business Adviser.
When advice on marketing is required, 33% of UK Business Barometer respondents would turn to a business adviser, while 29% would ask for advice from a specialist. This contrasts with 63% of respondents to the UK Business Adviser survey who would expect a typical small business to go to a business adviser for marketing advice.
The two most accepted standard sources of advice on management amongst UKBB respondents are business advisers, which attracted 48% of responses, and specialists, with 17% of responses, but 18% of respondents said that they would use other sources for this type of advice. 57% of UKBAB respondents said they would expect small businesses to consult business advisers, and 18% thought small firms would ask accountants.
For legal advice, 78% of UKBB respondents would turn to a specialist, with 12% consulting their trade association or representative group. 68% of UKBAB respondents would expect small businesses to go to a specialist on these matters, with 13% expecting them to contact a trade association or representative group.
The final question in the January survey was a response to recent headlines on the health and performance effects of caffeine. For respondents to both the UKBB and the UKBAB surveys, coffee was the most frequently chosen beverage, followed by tea and then water.
Listed below are extracts from feedback received in Survey
BB80 January 2005.
Comments are listed under sector headings.
Views expressed are those of individual panellists and may not represent those
of the University.
Production and Manufacturing
As I indicated last year, the survey that we complete does not seem to have any affect on the government as they (seem to) consider manufacturing as not important part of economy.
Your questions on advice assume that advice is or would be taken externally in each category. This is not the case with knowledge-based firms like mine.
The new disciplinary procedures are cumbersome, unfair on both sides and are making me think twice about giving an opportunity to an individual who may be successful in my business - but I don't know unless I try.
'Advisors' is a very general term. I use appropriate specialists, usually talking to at least 2 and selecting them on the basis of previous use, specialism and cost. I may also use a Business Link.
I have seen this for the first time. Have not seen your results but from my point of view, it would be interesting to see comparisons or movement since the previous survey.
I feel after completing a number of these that there is an obsession somewhere with red tape, perhaps less questions on this...