Despite Britain’s small businesses becoming increasingly confident about growth, more than two fifths (42%) admit they are ill-equipped to scale their business to meet demand, according to new research from EE.
According to the survey of 1,000 small business owners and senior decision makers, more than two thirds (69%) predict double-digit growth for their business in 2015, with an average growth projection of 26%.
However, a lack of technology, available office space and employees with the right skillset are holding back small businesses from scaling their firm to meet customer demand. More than two fifths (42%) say their business would be under threat if they are unable to resolve these issues and scale.
In response to the needs of those small businesses looking to scale, EE has launched Business Connect, a small business mobile plan.
Business Connect provides small businesses with the ability to create and modify their own custom plan, and control everything from the number of users and devices, to the amount of data, voice and texts to share and for each user. In effect, each employee can have their own plan that meets their needs, without the business worrying about separate bills and accounts.
Mike Tomlinson, Director of Small Business at EE, says: “Our research shows Britain’s small businesses are expecting growth in the next year, but many worry they don’t have the resources to scale to meet that change. Whether it’s quickly adding temporary or permanent staff, or travelling overseas to drive growth – we’ve developed Business Connect to be as nimble and flexible as today’s small businesses have to be.”
Digital marketing company Digital Next is an early adopter of Business Connect, and has benefitted from the plan’s flexibility as their business grows, allowing them to add new users, SIMs and devices as and when they’re needed, and monitor and control how they’re being used.
Justin Blackhurst, CEO of Digital Next, says: “We’re able to take advantage of EE Business Connect’s flexibility to match our business needs – whether it’s our business development team needing more data, our account managers calling clients overseas, or adding connections and devices in the short term for freelancers. We don’t have time to wait when business opportunities arise, so the ability to scale quickly, and capitalise on opportunities whilst managing the account ourselves is a huge benefit.”
“Since introducing flexible working supported by EE Business Connect, we have seen a 73% increase in productivity and this is having a direct impact on our bottom line. We were already forecasting strong growth for 2015, but we now expect to see at least a 20% increase in revenue as a direct result of this new, flexible approach.”