Our friends at Enterprise Nation have today (3rd April) announced the launch of a dynamic new platform as part of its mission to become the UK’s leading provider of business support.
The £2m tech-enabled platform, built with support from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW), will dramatically increase the enterprise support group’s reach and resources to deliver accessible advice, support and acceleration on demand to the UK’s small business community.
The platform’s new features, which include a member dashboard that enables real-time peer-to-peer networking and feedback, a rated adviser marketplace and a business health check service, have been developed in response to research that a third of all firms don’t even know where to start to access support.
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said:
“We are committed to delivering a new, more dynamic way of providing business support to the five million small businesses that operate in the UK.
“Our intuitive new platform can identify areas of the business that need extra work, deliver instant access to relevant advisers via our network, unlimited access to a knowledge bank and it also allows members to immerse themselves in industry insights and up-to-date business news and analysis.
“Of course, we’ll still be offering good old-fashioned face-to-face networking and relevant sector-specific events, but for the first time small firms will be able to talk to each other digitally, sharing their own experience in real time via our secure system.
“Our vision is to build a platform that will ensure every small business in the UK can get access to world-leading support on demand in a form that’s convenient and affordable for them.
“This is the future of business support.”
According to Enterprise Nation’s research, more than half of firms that take advice see a significant increase in profits, with more than a quarter putting the direct uplift in turnover between £6,000 and £20,000.
Another 27 per cent said advice had added between £1,000 and £5,000 in turnover, with 75 per cent saying it had been ‘very useful’.
Of those that had never taken advice, 82 per cent said it was because they were worried about the cost, and 36 per cent said they didn’t know where to go. Another nine per cent said they just didn’t feel they had the time to spare.
According to Natalie Sherman, founder of Trowbridge-based social media training firm Naturally Social, the advice she received has helped her firm to double its turnover.
“The advice left me with a clear vision, a greater knowledge about running a business and the processes to consider as well as more leadership skills. The advice gave me the reassurance and confidence to vocalise my skills.
“In particular sales training helped me identify imposter syndrome – something that was significantly holding me back. I also learned that ‘selling’ is not a dirty word.”
Alan Jones, founder of St Albans-based international gaming accessory firm Prif, claimed taking good advice help him find access to funding.
He said: “The most effective advice I have taken involved applying for Research & Development tax credits. This brought in £44,000 to the top line and helped offset quite a large amount of tooling and development costs in China.”
Copywriter Rin Hamburgh, whose eponymous firm is based in Bristol, regularly speaks to an adviser and has found the experience reassuring.
“We speak for one hour every month on the phone, and she also kindly let me spend a day at her offices in London last year shadowing the directors and sitting in on team meetings to get a feel for how the business runs in terms of processes and management, which is something that doesn’t come naturally to me. We’ve been working together since last summer and I can definitely see a marked difference in my confidence levels.
“Having her approval of my ideas and reassurance that I’m heading in the right direction allows me to speak about myself and the company in a different way, and I’m sure it’s helped us to gain bigger clients than we would have otherwise. Certainly our turnover has gone up steadily since then.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy – over 1,000 new businesses begin every day in Britain and our Industrial Strategy is ensuring they have the support they need to thrive.
“We’re working to ensure small firms can be as productive as they can be and it’s good to see more resources come online for the UK’s small business community to access.'