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The BIG Ten - the 10 characteristics of successful SMEs by Kent Business School

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How many of ‘The BIG Ten’ can your business tick off?

A 2012 report, ‘The BIG Ten: the Ten Characteristics of Successful SMEs’ (Gilman, Raby & Turpin, Kent Business School), explores the ten factors that the majority of thriving SMEs possess. I think it is a fascinating report that all SMEs can take great advice from.

Can you think of any other elements that make a SME successful? Share your cowith me my tweet @SafarazAli

Thanks to the University of Kent for sharing this research. You can watch a video explaining the findings further here. https://youtu.be/vsSjsnny8JQ

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The BIG Ten - the 10 characteristics of successful SMEs by Kent Business School

  1. 1. A 2012 report, ‘The BIG Ten: the Ten Characteristics of Successful SMEs’ (Gilman, Raby & Turpin, Kent Business School), explores the ten factors that the majority of thriving SMEs possess. What is ‘The BIG Ten’?
  2. 2. 1. The Enthusiast Being overtly passionate about your business and the products and services you sell makes you ‘The Enthusiast’.
  3. 3. 1. The Enthusiast A love for what you do provides positivity all round: - It’s contagious for colleagues who are more likely to get on board with the business’ vision. - It’s felt by customers, who can see you have real faith in what you do. A lack of passion and enthusiasm can lead to less innovation in business and low levels of employee engagement.
  4. 4. 2. The Transformer • The ability to adapt quickly to change is key for SME owners. • Allowing more time to work on business development and strategic planning makes SME owners better positioned to respond to change, and deal well with periods of crisis and transition.
  5. 5. 2. The Transformer Transformers also understand that they have to evolve within business, changing their approaches to adapt to the ever- changing climate.
  6. 6. 3. The Strategist I recommend setting a 5- year-vision and a 90-day strategic plan. The report backs this up, stating that the SMEs that thrived were the ones that recognised a strategic plan should be: • Emergent • Dynamic • Reflected upon and reviewed regularly
  7. 7. 4. The Delegator Delegation is a key skill for SME owners, as it frees up for time for them to strategically plan business matters rather than be pulled into day-to-day operations.
  8. 8. 4. The Delegator • It also encourages a culture of growth and empowerment, encouraging employees to develop further and therefore work harder for the business. • It’s important for all SMEs to set up the structures for effective delegation.
  9. 9. 5. The Innovator Innovators recognise the need to develop not only new products and services in response extensive research of their customers, but also new internal processes to increase efficiency within the business
  10. 10. 5. The Innovator I believe constant innovation is all part of learning, and a very important factor of this is innovation within the business, such as introducing new business practices to employees through dedicated training time in order to help them improve how they work.
  11. 11. 6. The Integrator SMEs with integrators are more likely to develop competitive advantage over their counterparts. They recognise the need to communicate and develop trust with suppliers and customers, through openly sharing information so that the products and services supplied meet customer needs.
  12. 12. 7. The Calculator • Numbers are the backbone of any business, but the most successful SMEs go deeper. • I always recommend a business dashboard - an information management tool that is used to track key data points relevant to your business.
  13. 13. 7. The Calculator • A business dashboard will simplify complex data sets to provide users with at-a-glance awareness of current performance. • Using a dashboard helps provide business leaders with the intelligence at a glance to make adjustments to the strategic plan at any given time.
  14. 14. 8. The Systemiser The report found that systemisers develop processes that support… • Innovation • Performance • Measurement • Management …recognising their importance in increasing levels of productivity and efficiency.
  15. 15. 9. The Engager Engaged employees equals better business, and it’s senior management’s job to get the most out of employees through engaging them.
  16. 16. 9. The Engager • Trusting employees to have ownership over their role empowers them and encourages them to deliver more and believe in the company vision. • Managers need to clearly communicate all elements of the business with employees in order to ensure they remain engaged.
  17. 17. 10. The Sponge • The ‘Sponge’ in a SME shares new knowledge with other employees, and trains team members in problem- solving and teamwork skills. • I believe this is a massively important element for a successful SME.
  18. 18. Can you think of any other elements that make a SME successful? Tweet @SafarazAli Thanks to the University of Kent for sharing this research. You can watch a video explaining the findings further here. Twitter: @pathwaygroup LinkedIn: The Pathway Group (Workforce Solutions) Tweet @SafarazAli Connect with Safaraz Ali

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