UKBA (UK Business Advisors) has welcomed the review of the effectiveness of Business Link in providing advice to owners and directors of SMEs. They believe that Business Link has not provided quality or value for money for some time now. Because it is government funded, the focus for those running the various Business Links is inevitably on meeting the government targets. Quality of advice has been variable, but in too many cases the only interest seems to have been to meet an SME, hand over a standard template report and then be able to go back to the funder, tick a box and claim their payment.
This has been damaging to some businesses since they then erroneously believe they have received personal quality advice focused on their business.
UKBA long ago recognised that true independent advice is difficult to come by, but can be absolutely critical to the success of an SME. It is important that any advisor is actually a specialist in their specific field, and someone who is actually also running an SME is in a much better position to help a company. Such advisors also get paid by the SME. So if the advice doesn’t help the company, they don’t get paid. This is a much better incentive to providing quality advice and real help to a business than just needing to tick a government target box.
All UKBA advisers run their own business, so “know what it is like” to be a business owner; and most of their work comes from recommendations from other customers and businesses.
Brian Dash, Chairman of UKBA said, “We see companies needing help all the time. Getting high quality advice and help quickly and cost-effectively can make all the difference to an SME. This is why we welcome the review of Business Link which will hopefully ensure that they, or their successor, are only active in the limited areas where they can really help, such as signposting grants.”
For full details visit the UKBA website www.ukba.co.uk or contact Brian Dash at UKBA on 0333 444 8522.