Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are critical for developing countries because of their role in economic growth and poverty reduction. As companies globally face issues relating to transparency, accountability and timely disclosure of material information, the concept of small and medium sized business and business ethics has gained significant importance. SMEs in developing countries face a number of challenges including access to finance both domestically and internationally as wells as developing international trade linkages. Developing entrepreneurial culture and ethical business environment are also other challenges the small and medium scale businesses face. This report is concerned with understanding how SMEs work by carrying out a research on SMEs and in this study our findings are based on Equilibrium Asset Management LLP which is an SME undertaking its operations in the United Kingdom.
Small and medium scale business have been there from the beginning and are advancing in what goods and products they offer. These small and medium enterprises commonly abbreviated as SMEs are the most critical kinds of businesses in most of the countries in the whole world including both the developing and the developed countries. These kind of business are blossoming in these countries due to desire by most people to be their own boss and also the lack of formal employment in government and other private sectors are diminishing day by day (Neupert et al.p.540).
It has been noticed that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) assume a fundamental role in financial and economic advancement, as they have been the principle wellspring of employment age and yield development, both in those countries that are already developed and those that are developing (Quayle 2002, p.1150). In the developing nations, the part of SMEs turns out to be more pivotal as they have the potential for the change of income dissemination and distribution, business creation, reduction in poverty and the export development. It likewise prompts the advancement of business enterprise including entrepreneurship, inventiveness in the industries and the advancement of the rural economy enhancing the equal distribution of resources (Raymond &Bergeron 2007, p.80).
Background of the Study
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are critical for developing countries because of their role in economic growth and poverty reduction. As companies globally face issues relating to transparency, accountability and timely disclosure of material information, the concept of small and medium sized business and business ethics has gained significant importance (Bowen et al.p.100). SMEs in developing countries face a number of challenges including access to finance both domestically and internationally as wells as developing international trade linkages. Developing entrepreneurial culture and ethical business environment are also important challenges (Neupert et al.p.540).
This report is based on the research carried out on a SME in the United Kingdom by the name Equilibrium Asset Management LLP. Equilibrium Asset Management LLP is a small and medium size enterprise based in the United Kingdom that is dealing with the provision of friendly expertise on wealth and investment management, pensions and estate planning strategies. Going beyond just providing advice on investments, they develop long-term financial plans for clients, making a positive difference to people so that life can be enjoyed and thus bringing joy to most of the families. The company was started in the late ninety's during the year 1995 meaning that the company has been in existence for more than twenty three years ago. The organization is driven by originator and accomplice Colin Lawson and Managing Partner Gaynor Rigby. Gaynor is depicted as showing others especially the employees of the company how it's done consistently, and continually being accessible to converse with staff anytime amid her working day (Quayle 2002, p.1152).
The company's head offices are based in Wilmslow, Cheshire, the organization regulates more than PS750 million worth of benefits and is focused on conveying an outstanding support of every one of their customers. Equilibrium Asset Management LLP qualities were settled on by the entire group together. They are: talk with trustworthiness and act with respectability; esteem each other; create and develop; appreciate work and have some good times; cooperate; take a stab at progress; and accomplish incredible things. The organization has a scope of representative commitment activities set up, spreading over philanthropy, the environment preservation, get-together commonly referred as social bonding with its employees, self-improvement and substantially more (Neupert et al.p.539). The number of employees of the company are drawn all over the united kingdom with their
The research process will employ the use of the qualitative and quantitative research methods. Quantitative research method was carried out through the use of the questionnaires. This method as a way of manipulating pre-existing statistical data through the use of the available computational techniques. From the above description, it is clear that through the use of questionnaires as we did during our research, then we are employing the use of the quantitative method of research. This type of research method is mainly focused on obtaining data that can be expressed in numerals in what is referred as numerical data. After obtaining this numerical data, it is then used to give a generalization across the group of people from which the sample was chosen from (Bowen et al.p.100).
Apart from the quantitative methods, the research also employed the use of the qualitative research methods. Qualitaive research is a method of carrying out a research process by emphasizing on the qualities of entities that by all means cannot be measured or scientifically quantified but can be expressed rather than the quantities or measurement as is the case in quantitative research method described above.
Aims and Objectives of the Report
To find out the business start-up processes
To find out the business concepts and their sources of competitive advantage
To find out the current level of demand of the company's development and their competitive advantage.
To find out how the company has undergone growth and its development up to date
To find out the challenges of managing and running the business.
To find out the SMEs current growth and its development strategy towards achieving greater steps in development and its prosperity
To find out if there is any government support measures that have been set aside to help the small and medium sized businesses to overcome the challenges they are currently facing.
Findings of the Report
Starting with the business start-up process, it was found out through the interview with the founder of the Equilibrium Asset Management LLP that the company started as a single entity company with only one employer .The company started on a single room house based in Wilmslow with the current headquarters based at Handforth Dean, Wilmslow, and Cheshire, SK9 3ND, United Kingdom. Since then the number of employees for the company has grown tremendously with the current total number of employees being fifty one. The company's number of customers has also increased tremendously since its inception in the year 1995.Looking at the social media following of the company, we discovered that Equilibrium Asset management LLP has a twitter following of one thousand and two hundred with the number of Facebook likes in their posts standing at two hundred and six average likes per post. This shows that the company has grown its base and is a now an investment company well recognised in the United Kingdom and plans are underway to open branches up in other countries to ensure they have a wider market base (Quayle 2002, p.1151).
Concerning the Business concepts and the competitive advantage that the company enjoys, it was realized during the interview with the general manager that the company invests more in achieving client satisfaction whereby they ensure that the people and companies that invest their money in the investment plans have something to smile about at the end of their investment period (Raymond &Bergeron 2007, p.80). The manager said during the interview and I quote that "It's not just knowing what questions to ask about our customers and what they want, it's knowing how to ask them. We have developed an academically rigorous methodology that gets to the heart of what people want and expect from their working lives. This unique system looks for patterns, connections and correlations between employee responses, taking you beyond just identifying how your employees feel it uncovers why they feel that way" (Quayle 2002, p.1150). The company employs the use of cost competitive advantage whereby they maximise its skilled workforce, employ the use inexpensive consultancy services concerning the investment options that are best suited for each and every customer who need their service.
Another way that Equilibrium Asset Management LLP has an upper hand in the investment industry is through its service differentiation. On the off chance that an organization's item or administration has a profitable, one of a kind offering for its purchasers, at that point devotion and product differentiation can happen. Cost upper hands can without much of a stretch vanish with the presentation of another contender or new innovation. In the event that another company offers a special item or administration, it is harder to keep up an edge in the market in view of cost alone. The organization must offer something new to the customer other than only a low cost.
Appropriate government support schemes that have been employed to enhance the thrive and the growth of the small and medium scale businesses is through the provision of favourable environment for their working businesses (Bowen et al.p.100). From the interviews and the questionnaires distributed it was realized that most one of the ways in which in which the government support the SMEs is through the provision of incentives to these entrepreneurs so as to encourage them to continue their business and to enable them to compete with other large companies. This ensures the creation of employment opportunities for mostly the youth whose majority are jobless.
Another way in which the government engages in the support of these small and medium scale business is through the training and education. To guarantee organizations approach prepared specialists and workers, governments give free tutoring to essential and auxiliary understudies, allows and credits for advanced education and labourer preparing programs (Neupert et al.p.540). Governments regularly work with exchange schools, junior colleges, universities to enhance labourer preparing for the SME industry hence encouraging the growth and development of the industry.
Another way in which the government supports the development of the SMEs as realized during the interview process is through infrastructure development. Business improves the situation when it can move crude...
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