Belfast Telegraph

Never forget, SMEs also pay attention to the big issues

Cara Taylor is a business growth enabler at Ulster Bank
Cara Taylor is a business growth enabler at Ulster Bank

By Cara Taylor

What really matters to small businesses? How well do the issues that we read about in the pages of the Belfast Telegraph resonate with small business owners?

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There's a tendency to presume that it's only the big businesses that pay attention to new regulations or changes in the macroeconomic environment, while SMEs think that they are less likely to be affected.

But in my experience as a business growth enabler for Ulster Bank, that's just not the case - SMEs look just as carefully at these changes. Where they differ is that they often lack the resources to discover the actionable insight they need - the 'what, when and how' of making the changes they need to make, so they can focus back on their day-to-day business.

For these small companies, they don't necessarily need lots and lots of details about the next big thing - what they do need is practical insight from experts, clear actions appropriate to their scale, to be delivered in a clear way.

So that's why our first Boost Bites events of 2018 are going to focus on the digital economy - helping businesses to learn about the importance of cyber security and the steps that can be taken to ensure your business is safe online.

GDPR is a ready-made example of the kind of high-level, impactful - but potentially time-consuming - topic that small businesses tell me they need help with. The regulations will be introduced in a little over four months, and businesses will need to adjust how they use and store customer data and information. The European Commission has expressed concern about the readiness of SMEs to cope with this change, and we know that privacy, data security, and the online footprint customers leave behind is only going to increase as a topic of interest and public debate.

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Cara Taylor is a business growth enabler at Ulster Bank

Belfast Telegraph