SMEs are vital to the overall economy, which is why these large organisations are engaging with them and helping them to develop. Studies conducted in 2018 show that, of the then 5.7 million businesses in the UK, 99.9% of all private sector businesses were SMEs and 96% of that employed less than 10 people. Therefore, as SMEs make up the bulk of the UK economy, when they grow it gives a chance for local economies to grow. In turn, this then benefits the larger corporations.
Google has taken an active approach to helping SMEs by developing digital tools to help them succeed. They have several initiatives in place to help SMEs of various sizes:
- My Business, allows SMEs to set up a free listing online to post information and updates.
- The Grow My Store platform was designed for medium sized businesses that already have an e-commerce site, and provides personalised checklists about website performance in relation to best practices.
- Grow with Google provides products, training and tools to help improve SMEs online presence.
- The Smart Campaigns initiative was developed to help SMEs looking to reach new customers. Each tool was designed with the business size and stage of development in mind.
- The Digital Garage is filled with free online courses, aimed at helping business owners and employees improve their skills in various topic areas, with the ability to achieve a verified certificate for their efforts.
Google even holds Digital Skills conferences in London to help individuals grow their skills, which will better assist SMEs scouring for talent.
Facebook and Instagram are also participating in this move to help SMEs grow. They have created a “Facebook for Business” platform to help with marketing on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. The platform provides free online courses on their eLearning page, digital insights, research and trends from industries, news and case studies, and the ability to create Facebook ads. They’ve also developed their own “Mobile Studio” which allows users to learn how to create mobile ads, with video guides, downloadable planning briefs and creative recommendations to help SMEs get started.
Facebooks stated that “when small businesses succeed, communities thrive. We want to build and empower communities, which is why Facebook and Instagram are committed to helping small businesses grow”.
Yahoo has followed suit and developed a cloud-based e-commerce store, named Yahoo Small Business, that promises a quick and easy way for SMEs to set up online shops.
There are a variety of different tools and schemes out there to help SMEs, and large corporations are taking part in helping them to develop and nurture a stronger business economy. These particular tools are more suited to early stage SMEs and start-ups, although they can be of use to SMEs at any stage.
At Exemplas, our demonstrable skills in providing SMEs with the tools and advice needed to excel and grow, mean we are able to stay up-to-date with current and forecasted trends, helping us tailor our advice and support. Advisory support is at the heart of what we do, and our knowledge becomes an SME’s advantage within the industry.