Publication Tomorrow’s Business Owners: Rethinking SME growth for the twenty-first century

by Luke Robinson _______28th November 2013

Executive Summary

The Tomorrow’s Business Owners guide provides insight into how business owners can create and grow a successful and sustainable business which will thrive beyond the owner’s personal involvement.

The guide is focused on the journey of smaller, ambitious growing businesses – usually referred to as a ‘small and medium-sized enterprise’ (SME) – and what is required to achieve sustainable success.

It builds on the substantial practical experience of business owners growing their own business, and contains perspectives from a range of businesses at all stages of growth – reflecting the rich diversity of this community. It identifies the factors that differentiate those that are successful from those that fail.

Tomorrow’s Business Owners – Re-thinking SME growth for the 21st century
Tomorrow’s Company launched this report, developed in collaboration with Telos Partners, at the Institute of Directors (IoD) with contributions from Simon Walker, Director General of the IoD, Adam Campbell, Partner at Telos Partners and Mark Goyder, Founder Director of Tomorrow’s Company.

Lord Young, the prime minister’s advisor on enterprise, gave a keynote address on the changing landscape of SMEs. In his report ‘Growing Your Business’, he writes “Estimates by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills suggest that if we were as entrepreneurial as the United States we would have nearly a million more firms”.

At the start of 2013, there were an estimated 4.9 million private sector SMEs employing around 14.4 million people in the UK (nearly half the 24.3 million employed in the UK at the time). SMEs accounted for an estimated turnover of £1.6 trillion, over half of the combined turnover of all UK businesses (£3.3 billion).

SMEs, which account for 99.9 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK, continue to contribute a significant amount to UK employment and GDP.[1] SMEs remain the key drivers of innovation, growth and job creation in the UK economy.
This guide serves as an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs. It sets out the key challenges business owners may face during different periods of organisational maturity, and provides insights from the experiences of other entrepreneurs. It also a practical seven step guide that provides insight into how business owners can create and grow a successful and sustainable business which will thrive beyond the owner’s personal involvement.

“Today there are small firms running global businesses, often from their front room and indeed over half of new firms in this country start from home. With all this going on the work of Tomorrow’s Company is even more important and I applaud the work they are doing and welcome their new report ‘Tomorrow’s Business Owners’.” Lord Young, prime minister’s enterprise adviser

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