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Policy publications - Productivity & growth Campaigns News

Lifting the Long Tail: The productivity challenge through the eyes of small business leaders

05 Nov 2018

The UK is home to many leading global and innovative businesses, but it also has a ‘long tail’ of underperforming firms seeking to grow, which represent significant hidden potential for future wage growth and employment. 

The gap can be closed by helping laggard firms to adopt existing best practices in management and technology. But for resource-challenged SMEs, this is considerably harder. To begin lifting their performance, they need to drive a culture of continuous improvement. Yet many small business leaders simply do not have the capacity to work ‘on’ their organisations because they’re too busy working ‘in’ them. And, even if SME leaders are able to think strategically, diagnosing business problems, implementing the right solution, and then absorbing it into their organisation depends on access to skills and finance.  

This report, Lifting the Long Tail, outlines the challenge, and makes a set of fresh recommendations to improve the take-up of best practice by SMEs, including a new integrated business support framework, targeted financial incentives to drive investment, and a bespoke approach to boosting management and leadership skills.

Read the report here

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