By Rowan Lemley
The global economy continues to present challenges for SMBs. In particular, owners need to identify ways to grow, retain and find new business. Finance is a central business function, and the processes that SMBs have in place – as well as the employees responsible for – will determine how effective a company can be as they pursue growth.
Basware’s soon-to-be-released SMB Finance research paints a mixed picture of what business owners and their employees are anticipating from their finance function. 558 business owners and 1,368 employees with financial responsibility within small to medium enterprises were interviewed by Basware, with the findings presenting varied objectives in the current SMB climate.
Given the relative size of SMBs, and within that, the finance function required to make them tick effectively, I think the research provides some fascinating insight into the disconnect between what business owners and employees expect from it and each other.
I’ve picked out a couple of headline stats to whet your appetite ahead of the research launch next week. Findings include:
- SMBs targeting growth: 61% of SMB owners in Europe and 51% in the US believe finding new markets and customers is the greatest challenge they currently face
- Micro organisations focusing on finding new business: 62% of micro businesses feel finding new markets is more of a challenge compared to 53% of medium organisations as they seek to develop and grow
- Large SMBs showing greater concern with their financial operations: Medium businesses are more concerned with getting their finances in order, including controlling cost (49% vs. 32% amongst micro businesses), managing cash flow (42% vs. 18%) and financing business development
- SMBs seeking updates on the move: 74% of European and 89% of US owners check their business’ finances outside of work
The research also gives us a good opportunity to see how SMBs’ finances are taking shape across different locations, with samples from across the UK, US, Sweden, Germany and Belgium & Netherlands.
Stay tuned for more SMB Finance findings in the coming weeks!