North West support for SME growth
Over the last 18 years the private SME business sector has grown by 63% in the UK. The North West has been recognised as one of the most attractive regions for this growth with more that 47,000 SME businesses launching in the area in 2017 – this was the third highest when compared to rest of the UK that year.
Last week Santander announced their pledge to support thousands of SMEs in the North of England through its new partnership with the Northern Powerhouse.
The bank will help businesses ranging from start up sized to international exporters over the next 5 years.
At the same time, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Manchester launched The Growth Company’s international scale-up programme to help encourage local businesses to expand into international markets. The Growth Company are offering 30 SMEs access to peer to peer opportunities and networks to create a global scale up community for the region.
This week the Government’s business secretary, Greg Clark, announced another £30m will be available to businesses through the Made Smarter scheme. This scheme aims to help encourage small, medium and large-scale companies throughout the UK supply chain to develop new digital capabilities and apply digital technologies such as data analytics, connected environments and IoT.
Digital transformation where to start?
There are a multitude of opportunities for businesses in the North West to get support around growth, but for some it’s difficult to understand the first steps a business needs to take on this journey.
Digital transformation is the new phase of growth most SME businesses are now concerned with to improve efficiency, streamline processes, improve customer satisfaction and reduce errors. It is a necessary disruption, as explained in this article by CIO.
Digital transformation involves integrating digital technology into all areas of business; fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to your customers. It’s also a cultural change that requires your organisation to continually challenge the status quo, experiment and explore new ways of working with a more complete understanding of the risks and opportunities.
At DCS we are working in collaboration with the Growth Company and other initiatives, like Made Smarter, to help make technology more accessible and guide businesses on the essential steps towards achieving this crucial transformation. We understand the challenges businesses face with day to day operational processes, communication and control. Having separate systems for finance, sales, orders, customer information can be one of the main challenges businesses have.
Reflect and Recharge
With so many avenues for funding, support and opportunities for growth available to businesses in the North West, now is the best time to stop and take time out to reflect on your business processes; understand the fundamentals of how it operates and get some specific guidance for your future direction to make the most of these schemes. We’re holding a series of free events, dedicated to giving your business structured guidance on solutions that can meet your specific needs and requirements.
For information to help you get started with your Digital Transformation journey, speak to one of consultants or register for one of our free events.