By Andrew Dalglish - 30th September 2014
SME businesses are a passion of mine. I founded one (Circle!) and as a B2B specialist I regularly explore the opinions and behaviours of SMEs.
But before I go on, let’s be careful with that label of ‘SME’. Even if we exclude sole traders, there are still more than one million SMEs in the UK alone. Inevitably with a group of that size, there’s a lot of diversity – different attitudes, behaviours, needs and opinions. So, to define your target market as ‘SMEs’ is a good start, but misses an awful lot of nuance (that deserves a blog post all of its own – see my colleague Andrew Dalglish’s exploration here).
That said, there is something which in my experience is common to most SMEs – ambition.
Sure, some SMEs are lifestyle businesses set up to enable a particular way of living. Some have run out of steam and are happy just plodding along. Others still never even set out with the intention of being market leader. But a new study from SAP and Circle Research proves that these are exceptions to the rule.
Our global survey of over 800 senior strategic decision-makers in SMEs reveals that 9 in 10 describe their business as ambitious. A hard core of around half of the population (46%) go further and use the term ‘very ambitious’. If we isolate these particularly ambitious businesses we see that they have a lot in common:
And strong ambition pays off. Over the past two years, nearly half of very ambitious businesses (48%) have seen revenue growth of more than 30%, compared to just over one quarter (27%) of (simply!) ambitious companies.
Read the full report here.
Find out more about Circle Research’s B2B marketing research services here.
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Andrew has specialised in B2B research for over a decade and co-founded Circle Research in 2006. He is a columnist for B2B Marketing Magazine, a regular contributor to Research Live and frequent speaker at leading events such as the B2B Leaders Forum, Customer Experience Live and the Social Media World Forum. Andrew is a Chartered Member of the MRS, teaches the MRS B2B research course and holds an MA in Psychology from Aberdeen University alongside an MSc in Marketing from Strathclyde University.