Report that UK SME management have below average skills.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the decision-making skills of the worst-performing UK SMEs were well below average in 22/23. They were more likely to make guesses when faced with challenges than make decisions based on business analysis. The survey found that, although management had made an improvement on the previous year,  family-owned businesses had lower scores compared to those run by career managers. Interestingly foreign ownership had a positive impact. The main barriers to improvement were being too busy, not seeing the need for improvement, and concerns about cost. The survey also revealed that small firms and manufacturing companies had poorer management practices. The ONS highlighted the importance of continuous improvement and performance measurement.

iBOSS Comment:

Based on our experience this conclusion by the ONS is a rather harsh assessment. There are undoubtedly many SMEs with highly competent management as can be seen by improved performance over the first quarter of 2024. (One has to wonder in fact whether they have included Government performance in their survey! ). Having said this, the ONS comments about cost and lack of time are regular factors we recognise. It’s all too easy for hard working mangers to miss the obvious inefficiencies. This is where we at iBOSS can help with our long experience of business management.

If you feel that your business is not achieving its full potential but can’t put your finger on the reason(s) then give us a call at iBOSS. For a free consultation and to learn how we can help simply call Phil Jones on 07876 503830 or e-mail him on