SME Success: Winning New Business [Summary Report]

Mark Saunders, David Gray, Catherine Farrant

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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    There are approximately 5.4 million businesses in the UK that employ less than 250 people. Together, they provide a total of 15.6 million jobs, equating to approximately 60% of the private sector workforce in 2015. However, while Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are of importance, it is their durability that can be considered of greater significance. The precarious nature of SME existence has been well documented. Only about 62% of small businesses are still trading after the first three years of initial start-up. After five years, fewer than 42% of businesses will have survived. Put simply, small businesses are more likely to fail than larger businesses. Indeed, other than size per se, the higher likelihood of failure is what distinguishes small from large businesses.
    Some businesses, however, not only survive but actually prosper. This current study focuses on SMEs that have been in business for at least three years and have five or more employees. In particular, it explores both their performance and the ways in which they win new business in relation to their orientation to external and internal environments. This in turn highlights more effective strategy decisions for these businesses and may further be used to inform better policy decisions for government. A return of over 1,000 questionnaires completed by SME owners/managers or senior employees, 15 in-depth interviews and six focus groups makes this one of the largest studies ever into winning new business involving UK SMEs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherKingston Smith
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2016


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