SMEs Closing the Gap with help from SBS

The Small Business Service has launched Closing the Gap, a new report from its Benchmark Index. The document is intended to help small- to medium-sized enterprises make performance comparisons for more than 60 key business measures in financial, management and business excellence areas.

The SBS benchmarking process aims to help small businesses understand how they can achieve higher performance levels. Developed in l996, the Index aims to be one of the most comprehensive sources of SME performance data worldwide.

Findings in the report, which can be viewed on the Benchmark Index website at, involved an assessment of more than 2000 SMEs. They include the fact that many companies invest more in marketing their capabilities than they spend in actually building them. For every £100 spent on marketing, £60 is spent on research and development and only £30 on training.

SBS chief executive David Irwin says: “It is clear that small companies are performing well over a broad range of measures. But cash flow is a key problem.”

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