Small Business Minister and Rochester and Strood MP, Kelly Tolhurst, joined a number of local businesses to uncover key tech adoption challenges facing UK SMEs at the historic dockyards in Chatham on 28 June.
Hosted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Be the Business, the workshop brought together SMEs to share experiences of how digital solutions can improve their business’ overall productivity.
The workshop tackled key questions for smaller businesses, including:
o Why do small businesses adopt new technology like cloud accountancy and digital customer relationship management (CRM)?
o What key challenges do they face when introducing such systems?
o What lessons would businesspeople in the room pass on to others adopting tech?
o How can we encourage more firms to enhance their productivity with software solutions?
A recent report from the European Research Council on tech adoption, ‘State of Small Business Britain Report 2018’, found that CRM software improved productivity by 18.4% for UK SMEs over three years, while cloud-computing solutions prompted a 13.5% increase.
Be the Business is using the findings of the session to develop new ways to help SMEs adopt productivity enhancing technology.
Tom Gibson, Head of New programmes at Be the Business: “We were delighted to work with the FSB to gather insights from Kent businesses on how they get the most out of technology. Digital technology can make a huge difference to business performance, but it isn’t always easy to get right. The workshop was invaluable in gathering things that can help firms all over the UK.”
Sonali Parekh (pictured), Head of Policy, FSB: “This was a fantastic opportunity to hear from FSB members about the challenges they face and successes they have when trying to get the most out of technology. Our research shows that introducing innovation can deliver a real boost to SMEs - it was great to hear directly from businesses.”