Business Owners Are Too Busy Fighting Fires To Develop An Actual Strategy, Says New Report

You know how it is. “I’ll just catch up on my emails, and then go and see Jenny in Accounts who’s been having a hard time recently, then I’ve got a conference call with investors…and then I’ll write this year’s business plan….” Sadly, this kind of approach just won’t do…

According to a new report from accountancy, investment management and tax group Smith & Williamson, 80% of business leaders are struggling to find the time to manage their business because they still have to do basic day to day tasks themselves due to inexperienced or unmotivated staff.

Failing to address this issue is “leaving a lot of businesses in the lurch”, say S&W.

“Individuals looking to scale their business should aim to devote a minimum of a day a week to actually working on their business strategy and actively managing their business,” says John Morris, scale up lead at Smith & Williamson.

But the problem is, the firm’s Enterprise Index, “a quarterly barometer of owner managers and entrepreneurs”, suggests, is that company founders aren’t finding the talent they need to look after the day to day running of their business, meaning they cannot find the time to devote to securing their startup’s future.

The latest survey reveals that only 40% of business owners questioned felt that there were sufficient “adequately trained individuals to fulfil their business needs”, even whilst “54% are actively trying to increase headcount.”

“Most people have grown their business because they are very good at what they do. What our respondents are finding is that there simply aren’t enough trained people in the employment pool to provide the right kind of skills to grow”, says Morris.

It must be hard when you realise that there simply aren’t any other people out there who share your passion for man-hole cover insurance, disruptive, self-driving milk-floats, and Uber for children’s chemistry sets.

We jest, of course, but there is a serious underlying point, here. Business owners are most likely hiring millennials, and as we all know, millennials like to do things differently – and often that means not having a boss at all – they would rather “disrupt” an employment opportunity by launching a rival company than “work for the man”, and at some stage, it’s possible the skills gap will become a chasm.

Experienced and predictable, or young, dumb and full of…coffee? One things for sure, with the last quarter showing that confidence in the talent pool is at a 2 year low, we’re all going to have to learn how to work together – again.

And the government are hardly helping, either, the report suggests. Over half of the survey respondents felt that the government could be doing more to help small-businesses, although Theresa May has promised, via a recently released green paper entitled “Building Our Industrial Strategy”, a scale-up champion will be appointed to lead a “private and public sector task force”.

The same paper also announced that it will be working to improve Local Enterprise Partnerships and upping investment into the British Business Bank.

Hiring and firing eh’ – it’s enough to put you off your breakfast, lunch, and business plan.

%d bloggers like this: