FSB survey reveals areas where business owners would like more support

Small businesses regard training in sales and marketing as critical for their growth, latest survey figures from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reveal.

In its ‘Voice of Small Business’ survey panel of 1,700 small businesses, almost half said that sales, marketing and PR training for themselves would help their business to develop or grow.


Just over a third said similar training for their employees would also have the same positive impact on the growth of their business.

The FSB is calling on the government to provide small businesses with more help. “For small firms to grow, they need to train staff in the skills that will impact on their bottom line. The government has to step up and support small firms in leading the economy back into steady growth,” said the Federation’s national chairman, John Walker.

He added: “It is vital not to lose a generation of young people to unemployment and a lack of skills training, so the Government must provide incentives for small businesses to take on apprentices and graduate interns which will provide businesses with key skills to sell their services and products in new and emerging markets — especially for exports overseas.”

A third of respondents to the survey cited customer services as integral to business growth, while 20 highlighted basic communication skills as an area that needed improving.

In a new report, ‘Raising the standards: an FSB skills survey’, the FSB argues that in order to be competitive, businesses need these skills to take advantage of new and emerging markets, and as a result, they need training to be made available and accessible so they can make the most of it.

Small businesses are more likely to take on low-skilled individuals than large businesses – previous research shows that 10% of the employees in micro businesses have no qualifications, compared to 5.6% in the largest organisations.