Since 2009, Aldermore has been listening to SMEs across the country, responding to feedback and opinions in order to provide a service that helps businesses grow and thrive. As a Bank, we believe there needs to be a two-way dialogue between us and our customers.
And we believe in sharing the knowledge we've learnt from speaking to SMEs across the country, relying on our experience of working with businesses throughout the United Kingdom; offering tailored solutions and products to the challenges small companies face in today's uncertain economic climate. We believe that sharing our knowledge and experience is vital.
This week, we spoke to Alexandra Kington, marketing manager of the SME Club, an organisation which supports SMEs with a similar philosophy. The initiative is part of the pro.manchester business community and established to help SMEs in the region grow through knowledge-sharing and collaboration. Kington highlights just how important it is for SMEs to share their own knowledge and experience.
She explains that, "When you're an SME, you excel in the area of specialism of your business, but that doesn't necessarily mean you know how to be an accountant, a marketer, HR director or product manager."
Given this knowledge gap, Kington highlights the importance of knowledge sharing to help SMEs expand: "What we try to do is provide the skills and information for SMEs to widen their general business acumen and, by doing so, allow their businesses to thrive and grow."
Kington highlights the range of SMEs and organisations currently involved in the project, including local SMEs such as PushOn and theEword, as well as groups such as Business Growth Hub and Growth Accelerator.
"We're bringing in top-level business advisors into smaller companies to share the knowledge…to show somebody who are maybe just starting out [with a company] how to do that [expand].
And SMEs have reacted positively to this technique. Discussing the business outlook for the Club's members in 2013, Kington comments:
"Most people we speak to are feeling relatively confident. A lot of our members are experiencing growth…a lot of our members have an optimistic outlook."
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