Ruth Mitchell

10% of SMEs don't network

One in ten SMEs do not network and 38% do not believe that networking can boost their businesses’ chances of growth and success.

Research from Lloyds TSB Business and the Open University reveals that many of Britain’s small businesses could be losing out to their competitors because they are not making the most of networking opportunities. Just 15% of firms said they devoted time to networking every week.

One in ten of business owners do not think that networking has any impact on their company’s turnover, despite 71% having won new customers over the past year as a direct result of networking. In addition, 42% have found new suppliers, 39% have found new marketing or product ideas, and 25% have recruited new staff recommended to them by networking contacts.

Stephen Pegge, head of communications at Lloyds TSB Business said: “We’ve all heard the old adage ‘it’s who you know not what you know’ but for many small firms today, the importance of building relationships is being seriously underestimated. “It’s clear that small businesses are often too quick to overlook the benefits of networking, but, when they do find the time to nurture new contacts, it’s never too long before they realise the part these relationships can play in their future growth and success.”

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