Research from FundingKnight shows that more than three in five SME leaders believe there is sense of community in British business today. And only one in ten leaders do not share any advice or information with other business associates.
This sense of community amongst SME and business leaders is one based on sharing learnings and acting as a support to each other. And it’s no wonder it is important to them as over a third think they gain the advice, reassurance and understanding of what others are doing, which helps them shape the leadership of their own companies. As well as this, being active in a wider business community puts them in a great place to connect with new contacts and suppliers. It also provides customer acquisition opportunities, with one in 10 reporting that they meet new clients through their business community.
Furthermore the research reveals that business leaders value the sounding board, and second opinion that being part of a community provides. Whilst almost half say that their best business decisions are based on gut instinct, over a third base their best business decisions on recommendations and tips from others.
It’s not just traditional business networks that are stimulating this SME community spirit either. Whist one in five business leaders are part of business clubs or local networking communities, online platforms are providing a more instant channel for businesses to connect with each other. The research showed that email, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the many ways business leaders keep in touch with associates.
Graeme Marshall, Chief Executive of peer-to-business lending platform FundingKnight said: “Businesses are telling us that learning from and listening to peers is important in helping them make business decisions, and that they benefit from being connected to others with a shared interest in business success. It is having this reassurance that they are not alone in their decisions, and that others are doing the same thing, that gives them the peace of mind which is key to their growth. It can be as simple as receiving recognition from an associate or fellow business leader that their business has potential, and that their ideas are great, that can really give them the confidence to go for growth and achieve their full potential.”