3 years’ worth of innovation took place in just 3 months due to COVID-19 (but UK small businesses risk falling behind)

The ‘Skills for Success‘ report published by Be the Business & The Open University (below) reveals that although 3 years’ worth of innovation took place in just 3 months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, that of those businesses that adopt technology, most (53%) are unsuccessful.

The report also shows that despite a large uptake in video conferencing & collaboration tools during the pandemic as companies were forced to work remotely, there is a considerable lack of understanding amongst business leaders of the benefits & value that technology can bring in terms of productivity, efficiency & profitability.

In particular, the smaller businesses are least likely to use or understand the benefits of using technology (for example, 62% of large firms use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool (like HubSpot) versus only 26% of small firms.

Most worryingly, older leaders of smaller businesses appear to place very little value or importance in not only technology but in the training & development of their workforce. One quarter of business leaders surveyed (25%) spend no money on training or learning with a higher proportion in the over 55s age bracket & in businesses with less than 49 employees. However, three quarters of business leaders aged 18-34 (73%) have a training budget set aside. (The value of training appears to be much higher to a leader the more recently they have undertaken some).

There is also a disconnect between the type of training & development that business leaders prefer to what is currently available from training providers & this combined with a lack of awareness & understanding of how technology & digital skills can help is holding UK business back.

SMEs & micro businesses account for 99.7% of the total business population in the UK & with technology a key driver of productivity, the national economic opportunity from an increase in successful adoption is huge. This report seeks to answer the key questions around digital adoption, skills development & what more needs to be done to stimulate economic growth & raise firm-level productivity.

Download the report here or by clicking / tapping on the image below:

Want to know the benefits of using a CRM tool?

If you’d like to know what the benefits are of using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool, check out our short blog ‘Save time & effort with free HubSpot CRM & Marketing Tools‘.

About Be the Business

Be the Business was established in 2017 to bring together companies large & small & make the UK home to the most ambitious firms in the world. Whether it’s finding new ways to incentivise & engage with your staff, taking a look at your own leadership & management style or investing in the kind of tools & technology that will help prepare your business for a new way of operating, there is no better way to tackle these kinds of challenges than by collaborating with others who are doing it at the same time.

Paul Lancaster (Founder, Newcastle Startup Week) was invited to become a ‘Business Ambassador’ for Be the Business in June 2021, helping to drive conversation around productivity in the North East of England.

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