Intelligent SME.tech Issue 22 - Page 59

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POOR CONNECTIVITY IS COSTING BRITISH SMES

UK micro-businesses and SMEs , who provide their employees with work phones , are losing out on over one hour of working time per employee , per week , on average , as poor connectivity means that staff cannot get online or complete work effectively . For medium-sized businesses , this equates to up to 250 hours of working time per week .

The research , conducted by Three UK in partnership with YouGov and Development Economics , found that :
• Loss of business revenue has a significant impact on the British economy – an estimated loss of economic output ( GVA ) amounting to £ 7.7 billion every year at a time of sluggish growth .
• Professional services and retail sectors are hardest hit by the cost of poor connectivity .
• The issue is affecting businesses at a challenging time , with almost three-quarters of SMEs reducing costs due to the macroeconomic backdrop .
The lost working time for British micro-businesses and SMEs equates to reduced business revenues of £ 18.77 billion a year , on average , according to the research , and it means that £ 7.7 billion of output is potentially being lost to the British economy every year .
The areas hit hardest were professional services – including legal , accounting and media businesses – and retail , which are two of the largest sectors in the UK economy .
The research found that professional services firms lost £ 5.3 billion in revenue on average per year due to poor connectivity , accounting for an annual output loss of £ 2.8 billion to the economy , while the retail sector lost £ 3.7 billion in revenue per year because of poor technology , resulting in an annual loss of £ 560 million in output to the British economy .
Cost of living and talent crisis
These figures come at a particularly challenging time for businesses . Amidst rising costs and inflation , almost three-quarters ( 71 %) of SMEs have been made more aware of areas where they need to reduce spending because of the cost-of-living crisis , with nearly a third of SMEs ( 32 %) believing they are paying too much for phone contracts and looking to cut costs .

THE LOST WORKING TIME FOR BRITISH MICRO-BUSINESSES AND SMES EQUATES TO REDUCED BUSINESS REVENUES OF £ 18.77 BILLION A YEAR .
Simultaneously , nearly a third ( 29 %) of SMEs are worried they could lose employees due to not having good technology . This figure rises to almost half ( 48 %) amongst medium-sized businesses , which is especially worrying at a time when talent shortage is impacting most industries .
Lack of support
Having a strong online connection is vital for SMEs to operate and grow their businesses , with over a third ( 36 %) believing that they could perform better if they had better mobile phone connectivity . Meanwhile , one in five SMEs ( 20 %) are concerned that not knowing how to use the latest mobile phone technology could allow their business to be left behind .
A lack of support and knowledge is a barrier to adopting the latest technology for these enterprises , with almost half ( 48 %) of SMEs stating that the technology industry uses complex technical language that they don ’ t understand . �
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