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Micro businesses’ Experiences of Communications

There are an estimated 5.2 million private sector businesses in the UK and 95% of them can be classified as a micro business. They account for 33% of UK private sector employment and over 18% of turnover. As part of its 2014 recent report Realising the potential: micro businesses’ experiences of communications services[1], the Panel commissioned Jigsaw to carry out independent, qualitative research[2] with a wide range of 115 micro businesses from across the UK.

The research highlighted that communications services play a critical role in the success of micro businesses. However, they face a wide range of challenges in using and fully exploiting the opportunities offered by these services and technologies for the benefit of the business; and, for the people running these enterprises, time is often at a premium. Following the research, we highlighted that for micro businesses to gain greater benefit from their communications services, action needs to be taken in three key areas:

Governments, in association with Ofcom, industry and communications providers, should focus on supplying improved speeds and coverage for both fast broadband and mobile voice and data.

Communications providers should consider offering tailored communications service packages for micro businesses, facilitating access to robust services and business grade support levels.

Governments, Ofcom, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, chambers of commerce, trade associations and communications providers should review the information and advice they offer about the benefits of investing in communications, tailored to the needs and time restraints of micro businesses.

Specific Objective

To better promote the needs of micro businesses we will continue to urge improvements in these areas, and we will take forward the results of our research and related recommendations in conjunction with a range of relevant stakeholders.

 

[1] http://www.communicationsconsumerpanel.org.uk/research-and-reports/realising-the-potential-micro-businesses--experiences-of-communications-services

 

[2] http://www.communicationsconsumerpanel.org.uk/downloads/micro-business-qualitative-research-written-report-final.pdf