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University internet survey reveals key influences on business growth


The attitude of a business owner, market demand and available skills top the list of key influence’s on a firm’s growth, an internet survey by The University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation has revealed.

Respondents to The UK Business Barometer were asked to rate five different potential key influences on a firm’s growth — attitude of owner; determine by market demand; available skills; access to finance; access to the latest technology — from one to five. The same set of questions were posed through its sister survey the UK Business Adviser Barometer.

Both businesses (80 per cent) and advisers (89 per cent) placed ’owner attitude’ in the top spot. A close second was ’market demand’, although fewer business advisers rated this as highly — more of them preferred ’available skills’ as a greater key influence.

In another question, UKBB panellists were asked, if they were given a day’s worth of consultancy, which issue they would most like to address, while UKBAB respondents were quizzed on which issues should be addressed for their clients by a consultant for a day.

Marketing was the strongest response from both groups, with 47 per cent from UKBB respondents and 50 per cent from UKBAB. Management skills was the second favourite choice, leading to a follow-up question that asked on which aspect of management businesses and advisers would most like the input of a specialist. People skills came out highest, followed by management of change and then finance.

The October survey also posed questions on the National Minimum Wage, marketing costs, business advice and expertise, time allowed for strategic matters and the medium to long-term economic future compared to a year ago.

The UK Business Barometer (UKBB) and UK Business Adviser Barometer (UKBAB) operate over the web to generate very rapid results. The surveys have unique software that enables results to be processed and posted on their respective websites immediately they arrive.

The survey results are published monthly and more information, including a press pack, can be found on the web at and Businesses and advisers wishing to contribute as panellists on the project should visit the appropriate Business Barometer website to register.

Rick Eagles | alfa
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