Campaign urges entrepreneurs to pass on the secrets of their success

The Forum of Private Business is calling for success stories from business owners flying high despite the global economic turmoil as part of its Get Britain Trading campaign to make 2012 the year of small businesses.

The Forum hopes that learning about how to succeed in a tough climate will inspire other entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses, spread positivity and boost confidence throughout the wider business community.

Get Britain Trading 2012 was launched earlier this year at an event in Westminster attended by approximately 60 business owners and the Business Minister, Mark Prisk, who joined Phil Orford, the Forum’s Chief Executive, in celebrating the key role of small businesses in driving economic growth.

“Our business is to help small firms succeed by providing them with the tools to achieve their goals and campaigning for the commercial landscape that encourages them to thrive - which is so important for the economy as a whole,” said Mr Orford.

“As a leading membership organisation one thing we can do is share the advice, guidance and experiences of successful entrepreneurs with our community of small business owners.

We are calling on all small business owners to get in touch and pass on the secrets of their success so that, in turn, other entrepreneurs can benefit – and so we can spread some much-needed positivity at the same time.”

According to figures from the department of Business, Innovation and Skills there were 4.5 million private sector enterprises in the UK at the start of 2011, 99.2% of all businesses in the UK are classified as small (0 to 49 employees) and small firms account for 46.2% of private sector employment and 24.9% of the UK’s annual turnover.

The Get Britain Trading event, which took place in the House of Commons, followed Forum research showing that many entrepreneurs are confident about their prospects for 2012 despite difficult economic conditions.

In all, 55% of supporters of the Forum's Get Britain Trading campaign, anticipated growth or strong growth in the coming year and 95% said they were already exploring ways of developing their businesses.

Further, 60% of respondents hoped to innovate in 2012 and, while 74% of small firms were looking to target customers in the UK, 17% were focusing on overseas markets.

However, the not-for-profit employer organisation’s Get Britain Trading survey also suggests that, while businesses are seeing opportunities for growth, 58% have been unable or unwilling to take advantage of them. Just 13% believe there will be any growth opportunities in the public sector.

Despite their positivity, many firms still face numerous obstacles to growth. For example, with mounting business costs a major issue, 29% of respondents to the Forum's survey are seeking to cut costs further.

The Get Britain Trading campaign aims to identify and address such barriers and, as part of this process, the Forum wants to share the information, guidance and advice gleaned from successful entrepreneurs.

Survey respondents provided information on a range of issues, including tax, red tape, finance and employment. For the full survey results visit www.fpb.org/gbtreport

During the summer of 2011, in an initiative backed by Mr Prisk, the Forum placed approximately 100 MPs, MSPs and Members of the Welsh Assembly on ‘Business Buddy' visits to small firms in their constituencies, where they learned about the realities of running a business. The scheme is running again this summer.

In addition, the Forum is keeping MPs updated via a new monthly e-newsletter containing small business success stories and is committed to promoting any initiatives aimed at supporting small firms. MPs will be able to submit stories from their constituencies for the e-newsletter.

The Forum is urging all business owners to support Get Britain Trading and pass on their stories by emailing getbritaintrading@fpb.org, tweet us using #britaintrading or get involved in the discussions taking place at The Forum of Private Business LinkedIn group.

For more information about the campaign visit www.getbritaintrading.co.uk or call the Forum on 0845 130 1722.