5 reasons the cbi thinks big and small business are more united than divided

People are not convinced business is playing fair in its own backyard. Against a backdrop of stories in the media about late payment and competition in some markets, public trust in small business is higher than in big business. But UK industry thrives on collaboration between companies of all sizes and our future success depends on getting the best out of all business. The rhetoric of ‘big vs. small’ is misleading and fails to grasp the complex dynamics and relationships which help solve business challenges and spread success. Here are five examples why big and small businesses are more united than divided:

 

1. Big businesses rely on collaboration with small companies in their supply chains

PrintFrom making cars to building couches, the UK’s strongest supply chains are based on collaboration between companies of all sizes. Large companies form crucial anchor points in the supply chain where their prosperity reinforces the success of the other connected businesses. Rolls Royce, for example, supports 14,000 jobs at its plant and a further 35,000 jobs in its local supply chain.

 

2. Healthy competition between small and large companies drives innovation

Whether it’s huge IT deals or building roads, big and small companies often find themselves competing against each other for government contracts. It’s this competition that can spur innovation and drive up standards across the public sector. Equally, many growth opportunities for small businesses come from working with large firms to deliver on specific parts of government contracts. With government promising to increase the amount of cash it spends with small businesses, the collaboration and competition that is essential to boosting standards is set to increase.

 

3. Big and small companies are both affected when other businesses don’t pay them on time

PrintThe bill for late payment stands at £40bn in the UK. In the news late payment is often reported as a problem exclusively experienced by small businesses being squeezed by large companies. But businesses big and small are hurt by the practice, and a culture of prompt payment will not be achieved by pitting firms against each other. Suppliers and customers want to collaborate, not aggravate one another.

Long term culture change requires greater transparency and recent government reforms make this goal a reality.

 

4. Big and small businesses are teaming up to boost their sectors performance

Some of the UK’s most exciting industries are gathering together to help solve their sectors toughest challenges. In Aerospace, for example, Sharing in Growth is an ambitious £120m programme that brings small and large companies together so they can develop their capacity to compete overseas. Everything from leadership training, improved manufacturing to strategy planning can be explored. Businesses of all sizes are coming together to share experiences and help the UK thrive globally.

 

5. Big companies are supporting small businesses to export

PrintSelling to overseas markets is a challenge, whatever the size of your business. Small businesses can receive invaluable advice and support from large companies who already have strong links to the target market.

These relationships save small business time and money while also strengthening the larger firms supply base.


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