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Avery WePrint Small Business Growth Survey 2016

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If you’re considering growing your business and feeling a mix of fear and excitement – that’s normal according to new research from web-to-print service Avery WePrint. The study has lifted the lid on small business growth in the UK, answering some of the most agonised-over questions about taking the next big step. The report explores everything from the emotional highs and lows to the sacrifices, funding and fears faced during the growth process. The findings make essential reading for anyone hoping to expand their business.

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Avery WePrint Small Business Growth Survey 2016

  1. 1. OF GROWING A highs lows& SMALL BUSINESS JUNE 2016 THE
  2. 2. Avery WePrint helps small businesses to create branded stationery and promotional material which helps their business to grow. Avery was keen to fully understand the highs and lows of growing a business and the real challenges small business owners face when making the decision to grow. BACKGROUND TO THE SURVEYbusiness growth
  3. 3. Telephone interviews took place with small business owners who have taken steps to grow their business to establish the key challenges that were faced during ‘the moment of growth’. Research was undertaken with Business Owners with 1– 49 employees and Sole Traders who have taken steps to grow their business in the last 2 years. 350 respondents completed the survey via OnePoll. BACKGROUND TO THE SURVEYbusiness growth
  4. 4. Avery explored the different ways owners had grown their business. HOW CAN YOU grow your business? Launching a new product was the most popular response with 44.6% making this step.
  5. 5. 0 12.5 25 37.5 50 % OTHER LAUNCHING A NEW PRODUCT OPENING ADDITIONAL BRANCH/SITE RE-BRANDING YOUR BUSINESS TAKING ON MORE STAFF EMPLOYING STAFF FOR THE FIRST TIME RENTING OR BUYING NEW PREMISES BECOMING A LIMITED COMPANY WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR growth step?
  6. 6. Six out of ten business owners felt a feeling of excitement. Four out of ten felt pride or nerves. make you feel? HOW DOES GROWING A BUSINESS
  7. 7. 0 17.5 35 52.5 70 EXCITEMENT HAPPINESSNERVES CONFIDENCEFEAR PRIDEWORRY STRESS NONE OF THESE FEELINGS make you feel? HOW DOES GROWING A BUSINESS %
  8. 8. I felt nerves, excitement, trepidation and also confidence as we really believed in what we were doing. Phil Wright, Primal Gym make you feel? HOW DOES GROWING A BUSINESS
  9. 9. I honestly don’t think there has been an emotion that I’ve not felt while trying to build the business. I recall thinking I’m going to have to get another job while we wait for things to happen. At that point I think there was panic, pain, frustration, hope, fear, disappointment and gratitude. I questioned whether I’d done the right thing. Now, it’s a different story, although there are still certain anxieties, the fear of failure doesn’t factor today. Sam Prentice, iWaste make you feel? HOW DOES GROWING A BUSINESS
  10. 10. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO grow your business? Between 1 and 2 years of starting a business is the most popular time to grow.
  11. 11. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO grow your business? MORE THAN 10 YEARS LESS THAN ONE YEAR 6 TO 10 YEARS 5 YEARS 3 TO 4 YEARS 1 TO 2 YEARS
  12. 12. Fear is a significant factor. The most common fear business owners cited was ‘failure’. Losing money followed this, with almost a quarter of businesses stating this was their greatest concern. WHEN GROWING A BUSINESS? biggest fears WHAT ARE THE
  13. 13. WHEN GROWING A BUSINESS? biggest fears WHAT ARE THE 0 7.5 15 22.5 30 REPUTATION BEING AFFECTED TOO SOON/NOT THE RIGHT TIME LACK OF TIME BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S FINANCES FAMILY/HOME LIFE BEING AFFECTED FAILURE LOSING MONEY NONE OF THESE OTHER FEAR %
  14. 14. We were a little bit worried about whether our business growth idea would work, mainly from a reputational point of view. Everything we’ve done so far has been great and really well received, we didn’t want to jeopardise that with something that may not work. Jamie Smith, Balulas Delicatessen WHAT ARE THE WHEN GROWING A BUSINESS? biggest fears
  15. 15. It’s not surprising then that the financial strains were found to be the hardest part of growing a business… WHAT IS THE OF GROWING A BUSINESS? hardest part Almost a third of small businesses reported financial strain was the hardest part of growing a business.
  16. 16. WHAT IS THE OF GROWING A BUSINESS? hardest part NONE OF THESE OTHER MARKETING STAFFING ISSUES UNDERSTANDING LEGALITIES LACK OF KNOWLEDGE WITHIN EXISTING TEAM LACK OF WORK- LIFE BALANCE FEELING THE PRESSURE OF CHANGE ADDITIONAL WORKLOAD FINANCIAL STRAINS
  17. 17. There’s any number of things I could have done better, but these were all part of the learning curve. Businesses are risky things and they stand and fall on decision making: I’ve 100% needed the experiences of tough times and the mistakes. (Although admittedly it doesn’t feel like that when you’re in the middle of it!) Ciaron Dunne, Genie Ventures HOW CAN YOU FROM YOUR BUSINESS MISTAKES? learn
  18. 18. Business owners shared where they looked for advice when growing their business. WHERE’S THE best place advice?TO LOOK FOR BUSINESS GROWTH The Internet and Friends and Family were the most popular places to look for advice.
  19. 19. TYPE OF ADVICE WHO USED THIS (%) The Internet 58.6 Friends and family 47.4 A mentor 25.4 Social Media 22.9 Local business network 17.1 A consultant 15.1 Employed additional staff with the expertise needed 14.6 Magazine articles 9.4 Other 6.9 Citizen’s Advice 5.1 WHERE’S THE best place advice?TO LOOK FOR BUSINESS GROWTH
  20. 20. Saving up until growth could be afforded was the most popular response, followed by using personal savings and then a bank loan. WHAT’S THE MOST COMMON WAY TO FUND business growth? Small business owners were asked to share how their small business had been funded…
  21. 21. WHAT’S THE MOST COMMON WAY TO FUND business growth? 0 15 30 45 60 PERSONAL SAVINGS OTHER WAY APPLIED FOR A BUSINESS GRANT GOVERNMENT GRANT/ INITIATIVE LOAN FROM A COMPANY OTHER THAN A BANK BANK LOAN EXTERNAL INVESTORS SAVED UP UNTIL COULD AFFORD TO GROW %
  22. 22. Our productivity has definitely gone up since growing the business and moving out into an office space. We’re a team of four now and working in the same space means we can all learn from one another. It’s much better for team work. Lucy Francis, Lucy Francis PA Services HAS GROWING YOUR BUSINESS MADE YOU more successful?
  23. 23. 56% of small business owners agreed that their customers had been happy about the decision to grow. Almost six out of 10 small business owners said that growing the business had attracted new customers. IS GROWING YOUR BUSINESS THE right decision?
  24. 24. Almost a quarter (24.3%) agreed they could provide better customer service since the growth. Almost 9 out of 10 business owners said the growth moment was stressful with over a quarter of business owners (26.3%) saying it was VERY stressful. IS GROWING YOUR BUSINESS THE right decision?
  25. 25. IS GROWING YOUR BUSINESS THE right decision? 43.1% agreed with the statements “It was worth the stress of growing my business to be where I am today” and “It has had a positive impact on my home/personal life.” 82.9% of respondents said they had no regrets at all about growing their business.
  26. 26. The customer service they offer came out top with 28.3% of respondents, followed by work/life balance and financial success. Business owners were asked what made them most proud about running their business. proud WHAT MAKES YOU MOST ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?
  27. 27. proud WHAT MAKES YOU MOST ABOUT RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS? NOTHING YOUR PRODUCTS YOUR BRAND FINANCIAL SUCCESS AWARDS WON INDUSTRY REPUTATION CUSTOMER SERVICE WORK/LIFE BALANCE PREMISES FINANCIAL SUCCESS YOUR STAFF
  28. 28. Effective marketing as a business grows is critical, over a quarter of the UK’s small businesses said they plan to increase their sales and marketing activity in the next two years. Networking, new websites and increased social media activity were cited among the most popular tools of marketing a growing business. growing a business? WHAT MARKETING SHOULD YOU UNDERTAKE WHEN
  29. 29. 0 12.5 25 37.5 OTHER PR CAMPAIGN SOURCED MARKETING/ PR AGENCY NETWORKING EMPLOY DEDICATED MARKETING STAFF EVENT UTILISED SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECT MAIL NEW BRAND NEW WEBSITE EMPLOYED SALES STAFF PROMOTION OR SPECIAL OFFER TRAINING COURSE growing a business? WHAT MARKETING SHOULD YOU UNDERTAKE WHEN %
  30. 30. Our wonderful senior designer told me that she wanted to take the time to create a brand which reflects the Genie culture, which would motivate and inspire staff and visitors, and which would make everyone proud. It was a dramatic change and I love it. I do strongly believe the brand is important for staff as well as the market: we all want to work for a business we feel proud of. Ciaron Dunne, Genie Ventures growing a business? WHAT MARKETING SHOULD YOU UNDERTAKE WHEN
  31. 31. growing a business? Business owners were asked what advice they were most likely to give to those considering growing a business. Over half of respondents said “Go for it, you may regret it if you don’t.” Almost a third of owners said “Get advice from specialists.” WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF CONSIDERING 35% said “Wait until you have enough savings before you do it.”
  32. 32. growing a business? WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF CONSIDERING 20% recommended “Increasing your sales and marketing activity to help cover the costs of growing” 21% said “Don’t forget about branding, it’s important to have the right image” Almost one fifth recommended “Outsourcing areas you aren’t as confident in.” Business owners were asked what advice they were most likely to give to those considering growing a business.
  33. 33. right time If you’re wondering if you’re ready to grow your business, you might find that only you have the right answer… It seems it is very much a personal, emotional decision as opposed to a rational one with factors such as having a product ready or finding the right premises coming lower down the list. WHEN IS THE TO GROW A BUSINESS?
  34. 34. right timeWHEN IS THE 0 15 45 60 30 I FELT THE TIME WAS RIGHT WE HAD FINANCES AVAILABLE TO HELP GROW A PREMISES BECAME AVAILABLE IN RIGHT LOCATION WE HAD A PRODUCT READY TO LAUNCH WE FOUND THE RIGHT STAFF TO MAKE IT HAPPEN BUSINESS WAS STRUGGLING WITHOUT GROWTH OPPORTUNITY IT WAS THE RIGHT TIME FOR ME PERSONALLY OTHER % TO GROW A BUSINESS?
  35. 35. I’m so happy now that I’ve made the decision to grow the business and we are in our own office. It feels more professional and we’re more productive. I love saying we have an office and it adds gravitas to our organisation. Lucy Francis PA Services right decision IS GROWING A BUSINESS THE FOR YOU?
  36. 36. sacrifices There’s no doubt that the work involved in growing a business does lead to some sacrifices having to be made. Avery explored what the biggest ones were and these are shown below. WHAT DO BUSINESS OWNERS HAVE TO MAKE? 39% agreed that working longer hours was one of the biggest sacrifices. 20.9% agreed less family time was a large sacrifice.
  37. 37. sacrifices WHAT DO BUSINESS OWNERS HAVE TO MAKE? SACRIFICE % WHO SAID THIS Working longer hours 30.9 Less family time 20.9 Less ‘me’ time 18.9 No sacrifice 12.6 Taken a pay cut 7.7 Impact on personal relationships 5.1 Other 1.7 Changing location 1.1 Moving from a premises you love 0.9 Had to lose staff 0.3
  38. 38. growing starting IS OR A BUSINESS HARDER? 50.6% felt the decision to start a business was harder than growing a business. 22.0% felt it was about the same for both starting and growing a business. 27.4% felt the decision to grow was harder than starting a business.
  39. 39. It has been fantastic to hear the optimism from Britain’s small businesses in this study. It really seems as though hard work and trusting your instincts can pay off when it comes to growth. Our study found that there’s no feeling quite like growing your business, so we’d like to encourage anyone at this stage to celebrate how far they’ve come. If you’re a passionate small business, it’s worth communicating this in everything you do, from your business cards to branding and marketing materials, your packaging, presentation and your customer service. Fiona Mills, Marketing Director, Avery WePrint Celebrating SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH
  40. 40. @UKAVERY /UKAVERY WWW.AVERY.CO.UK/WEPRINT #AveryBizGrowth

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