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8 ways SMEs solve business issues – let’s add mentoring!

SMENew research from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has examined the issues new business owners face in the start-up phase, and how they address the problems they face. It makes interesting reading, with nearly two thirds struggling in at least one area.

Key findings include:

20% said not having finance knowledge was the biggest problem

12% of owners felt they had insufficient marketing knowledge

11% had inadequate knowledge of the legal requirements when starting a business

Overall, the AAT found that the one area businesses wished they had researched and developed more fully from the start was marketing.

Cornerstone Business Mentoring has looked carefully at the statistics published on the AAT website, and the data relating to the research phase was particularly interesting. Running a new business can feel lonely, and the AAT looked carefully at the sources business owners turn to when they need advice.

  • 19% of owners said they turn to an internet search engine when they need support and information
  • 22% would go to an accountant
  • 11% try looking on a business website
  • 10% go to business networks
  • 8% to trade bodies such as the Federation of Small Businesses
  • 7% consult family and friends.

(Source AAT 2016)

Here at Cornerstone we would like to suggest that free mentoring schemes are made available nationally, as we have recently seen a significant surge in interest here in Somerset. Sole traders and new small businesses are approaching us in the very earliest stages of development to ensure they set up on the firmest possible footing, something that can only improve their chances of success.

So take a look at the other statistics on the AAT’s website; they actually show that most businesses felt a certain amount of confidence in their abilities to run their own business, although for more than 25% that confidence took more than a year to grow, and a major gap in knowledge was highlighted by the research – 50% of new businesses lack the necessary knowledge to identify when a business loan would be useful or necessary and how they might apply for funding.

A Cornerstone mentor has years of business experience and we have a team with all the skills necessary to get you started. And it is free! Do get in touch if you think we can help.