High growth small businesses (HGSBs) are of huge value to the UK economy, creating a significant percentage of jobs, year-on-year, and driving increased productivity.
A recent report, commissioned by the Octopus Group and released earlier this year, supports this by highlighting that these businesses create an additional two months of economic output every year compared to the average UK business.
To give an idea of the scale of these companies, it was noted that small businesses accounted for 99.3 per cent of all private sector businesses at the start of 2017. In that same year, the combined annual turnover of SMEs was £1.9 trillion, comprising 1.3 million employing businesses and 4.3 million non-employing.
Last year, Linkedin reported that the number of entrepreneurs, sole traders and SMEs was on the rise in the UK while Britain’s biggest companies were reducing their employee numbers.
Although the big companies might be reducing their workforces, SMEs are creating a wealth of employment opportunities. This isn’t all plain sailing though… The main issue for these SMEs and HGSBs would seem to be recruiting the right talent for the specialist posts they have created.
Recruitment and retention
A study out earlier this year, published by retail bank, Aldermore, suggests that as many as one in five SMEs has a problem with recruitment and retention. Great working environments, with office spaces that reflect the company’s culture and core values, are beginning to come to the fore in this field as employers start to recognize that the office itself is a valuable recruitment tool.
Many workers appreciate flexibility and that includes the opportunity to work in a less formal setting, as well as the benefits that are afforded by flexible working hours. Providing the right environment can be key to pulling the best team together – and keeping them.
With most new recruits being interviewed on the premises, what better sales pitch for a company than a well-designed office with top notch facilities and a mix of spaces, allowing the opportunity for workers to collaborate and share ideas as well as to work privately and independently?
Adapting the office space for smaller businesses
The investment into space for smaller businesses and how that investment is made is of paramount importance. There needs to be room allowed for the smaller business to grow and to incorporate larger numbers but, equally, there needs to be careful planning for the current staff so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by space. The space needs to be adaptable to provide a social and collaborative environment that can accommodate a mix of numbers.
Rather than encouraging hot desking, forward-thinking businesses are taking the concept a step forward and creating flexible workspaces and hubs, with work benches and touchdown points so that staff can work in a group or on their own in a more informal setting.
As with any size business, the conundrum remains the same. You have to ultimately provide the facilities and space that will be best for your business and your staff, to help your people produce their best work.