Small business leaders in Yorkshire are just as likely to seek business advice from family and friends as they are to speak to professionals, according to a new survey.
Research carried out for Growth Vouchers – a Government programme that helps businesses towards the cost of professional advice in areas such as finance and cash flow, management skills and sales and marketing – found that 56% of decision-makers in Yorkshire’s small firms have approached someone in their personal life as well as professionals outside their close circle for business advice.
However, 43% of business leaders in Yorkshire said they are most likely to trust guidance from a professional above other sources of advice.
Furthermore, 68% of small business leaders thought they would gain from some form of professional advice – with 37% thinking they would benefit most from help with digital technology followed by 32% for sales and marketing.
Among those not seeking advice, the most common reason given was that the business was “doing okay”. Some 23% said seeking professional advice was not a high priority for them . Other reasons were lack of time and not knowing how to access advice.
Some 53% of small business bosses who have taken advice from friends and family said they did so because they felt people closer to themselves or their business were likely to understand the issues better than a stranger,
Business minister Matthew Hancock said: “Expert business advice is incredibly important for many of the UK’s smaller firms and helps make sure they reach their potential.
“We know professional advice can be costly and that there is a lot of choice out there, so we are simplifying the Government’s businesses support schemes to make it easier to find and access the right support at the right time.
“This is all part of our plan to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”
Small businesses must be based in England and employ fewer than 250 staff in order to be eligible for a Growth Voucher worth up to £2,000 to cover half the cost of professional advice.