In its annual new year message, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has encouraged companies to get behind new technologies, rather than fearing them.
According to Scottish policy convenor at the FSB Andy Willox, local businesses need to embrace change. A significant part of this will be having the ability to “exploit” digital technologies but he also called on the government to bolster a more resilient economy, which should be a key priority for the forthcoming elections in Scotland.
In a report conducted by the FSB last year, the firm looked at digital disruption and found that smaller companies should be encouraged to harness the opportunities that technology can unlock, putting digital at the heart of any growth plans for 2016.
Mr Willox said: “Change is hard, but often necessary. Well, that’s what we’ll be telling ourselves next week as we try to stick to the New Year’s resolutions. And, just as we swap the steak pies for salads at home, our minds also turn to how we can get our businesses into better shape.”
He explained that the FSB had changed itself, undergoing a rebrand and website overhaul but that it would continue to support smaller businesses when it comes to reaching their goals.
Looking forward to the Scottish Parliament elections in May, Mr Willox highlighted the importance of having support from the government.
The FSB has released a manifesto to help guide politicians and put Scotland on the map for small businesses in the run-up to the elections. Its key message is that the government needs to put building resilience of local economies at the heart of any business strategy.
As part of this, the country needed to develop new ways to turn failing places around and ensure that local economies aren’t dependent on a limited amount of large, global companies or industries.
“This point extends to communities over-reliant on state-championed industries and public sector employers, now stretched because of pressure on the nation’s purse,” Mr Willox explained.
As this will broaden and strengthen small businesses, the document argues that it will make growing companies more resilient to global economic shocks.
Mr Willox said: “Improving our communications infrastructure is key to this, ensuring no business or area is left in the digital slow lane. It also means that the next Scottish Government must create the most supportive environment in which to do business, by taxing fairly, spending wisely and regulating sensibly.”