"Small businesses want the best of new technologies and business advisors to help them thrive – not the current status quo which sees banks putting obstacles in their way"
TSB has joined forces with Enterprise Nation to help boost the digital capability of small businesses across the UK.
From this week, TSB’s small business customers will have the opportunity to start taking a newly-created digital MOT test to determine what help and guidance they need, with big brands including GoDaddy, Xero and Experian signed up to support.
Research from TSB found that more than 50% of Brits think small businesses are falling behind when it comes to embracing digital.
Six in 10 people would like to see small businesses in their local area have a website and over think small businesses in their local area will be more successful if they embrace digital.
Research from Enterprise Nation also found that over 70% of Britain’s small businesses and entrepreneurs are "crying out for more support when it comes to embracing digital and having an online presence".
TSB says embracing digital will not only help to unlock the currently unfulfilled potential of small businesses, it will also become a requirement that businesses eventually cannot avoid. For example, from April 2019, small businesses who are VAT registered will be required to submit quarterly digital accounts as part of HMRC’s ‘Making Tax Digital for Business’ initiative.
TSB’s commercial banking director, Richard Davies, said: “I’ve always been inspired by the capacity of small businesses to ride the economic waves, create jobs and serve local communities – but we know they are crying out for more support when it comes to embracing the digital revolution.
“Small businesses need banking partners who want to actively support them, with fresh thinking and new services – to unlock the true potential of small businesses and ultimately address the productivity gap that exists in the UK today.
“Small businesses want the best of new technologies and business advisors to help them thrive – not the current status quo which sees banks putting obstacles in their way and looking for ways to extract money from them. Solutions need to be personalised, not ‘one size fits all’, and this needs to happen right across the UK, not just in London. Enterprise Nation is helping us to develop and deliver quality, digital support and I’m delighted we can offer this to the small businesses and entrepreneurs that we serve.”
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, added: “An initiative like this is desperately needed. Small local firms are significantly missing out on the benefits that digital know-how can bring, not just to sales but to productivity.
“Offering vouchers that can be exchanged for digital services is inspired, and exactly what we need to see banks doing – recognising there is much more to be done to support businesses, and that their own local branches are far from redundant – in fact they are the perfect venue from which to deliver important help.
“There are a lot of compelling reasons why firms really must find the time to embrace the digital world once and for all. With more fundamental services like tax moving online only, finding out more about the digital opportunity is no longer a choice.”