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Where do business owners source the latest information?

September 11, 2012

A recent study suggests that most small business owners do not hold Government economic predictions in high regard. Networks and online business sites are seen as far more reliable sources of information.

The survey, carried out by business insurance firm, AXA, found that 92% of respondents said that they do not use Government economic data when undertaking planning processes, despite the importance one might expect would be associated with ‘official’ statistics during such an unstable economic time.

When asked further why official publications were not taken seriously, 58% said that Government macroeconomic predictions were not relevant to their businesses, whilst 31% didn’t believe the information to be accurate.

So, where do most small business owners source information from?

Interestingly, the majority of participants in the AXA study (83%) were not expecting to seek external advice at all on how to improve their businesses this year.

Of the remaining 17% who did expect to look for advice from others, the breakdown was as follows:

  • Approaching other business people online (37%)
  • Using business networks (29%)
  • Asking their accountant (28%)
  • Their business bankers (26%)
  • Peers and family members (both 26%)

Other potential sources of help were expected to come from industry bodies, mentors, legal specialists and consultants.

Darrell Sansom, commenting on behalf of the insurance group, said that ‘knowledge is power’ remains a very true adage. “…In times of economic uncertainty, being equipped with accurate and relevant insights is critical to making informed and impactful business decisions.”

Other sources of useful business information

From our experience of running Bytestart over the past 7 years, we have found business forums to be an excellent source of information and views, as well as content published by business news sites like ours. Probably the most-read small business forums are the UK Business Forums which you can access here.

LinkedIn has also become an increasingly useful source of connections for the Bytestart team. You can sign up (for free) here.