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What Makes SMEs Successful?

The team at Commercial Domestic Investigations always have their finger on the pulse of the latest UK SME news.

This week a new report published by Standard Life has revealed some of the key drivers of success for small and medium-sized businesses.


The poll questioned both Sme Leaders and employees, and the results indicated that it would be trends of collaboration, empowerment and adaptability that would play a part in growth over the next five years. The research also showed an evolution in working practices, company culture and innovation.

SME leaders said the one essential priority, in order to achieve business success, is to empower the workforce. This is said to be done by building an environment that encourages creativity and innovation. Employees agreed with this, and stated that the most desirable quality in a business Leader is the ability to empower and trust their colleagues.

60 per Cent of employees said that ‘adaptability’ is the most important attribute for professional success, proving that it’s all about the psyche affecting the businesses in the modern world.

The research also suggests that the traditional five-year business planning cycle is now a thing of the past, with a huge majority of SME leaders (82 per cent) altering this strategy at least once a year. Almost three fifths are altering it at least once every six months.


41 per cent of business leaders believe that the most productive workforce can be achieved by offering employees flexible working conditions, whilst 40 per cent believe this is achieved by investing in future potential. Training and upskilling was given as the number one focus for talent development over the next five years.

Similarly, 44 per cent of employees said that the development of people was extremely important in business success. 38 per cent saw being encouraged to try new things as the best way to remain competitive.

The majority of SME leaders (69 per cent) believe that the role of CEO and MD will become more diverse and accessible to their workforce in the future, many employees still see these types of positions as out of reach. Only 56 per cent of them expected promotion to CEO or MD to become more challenging over the next 5 years.

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40 per cent believe a productive workforce can be achieved by investing in future potential

‘Retaining strong core values’

Stephen Ingledew, Standard Life’s managing director of marketing says, “SMEs are an important part of our client base, and we wanted to take a closer look at the behaviours these business leaders and their employees adopt to achieve success and fuel entrepreneurship.

“Our research shows that UK SMEs are strongly committed to building working environments that encourage and nurture flexibility and innovation”.

Ingledew added: “SMEs are generally very outward-looking and focused on retaining strong core values which help them attract and retain the best talent.

“The research indicates that they regard positive contributions to society as an important measure of success, and that they carefully consider how their decisions impact their broader industry, their people and their communities.”

About Commercial Domestic Investigations

Commercial Domestic Investigations are regarded within the debt collection and credit control industry as one of the best credit management companies in the UK. Established in 1988 to support and service all sizes of companies in the field of Credit Management.

Commercial Domestic Investigations have recently featured in the press in The Guardian. To keep up to date with the latest debt collection news make sure to follow Commercial Domestic Investigations on twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

We now boast a national client base in excess of 30,000 companies. Commercial Domestic Investigations has grown by listening to clients’ requirements and adapting our services to meet all companies’ needs from Sole Traders, SMES, Ltd and Plus. Please contact us on 08444 159200 for more information.

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What Makes SMEs Successful?


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