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The innovation problem - what's holding small businesses back

Are there small changes you could make to the way you work to make your life a little easier? Join our #SageAdvice #SmallBizSat sessions to find out more

As an entrepreneur, you probably started your business because of your big idea. A spark of inspiration, a plan to disrupt the market, a vision for how a product or service could be improved beyond imagination.

Then what happens? You work hard, you plug away, trying to turn that dream into a successful business.

And what we’ve seen is that then, the inspiration and innovation that got you going in the first place falls by the wayside. In our most recent research we have found that over a third of small businesses globally are too maxed out to continue to explore new ideas. The figure is even larger in Spain where 38% say that they must ignore innovation.

And innovation isn’t the only thing to suffer. Over a third have also lost customers as a result of not having sufficient time to service them as well as they would like.

These businesses say they are hampered by a lack of skills, too much admin and the pressures of keeping customers happy.

We know that 2/3rds of the jobs in developed economies come from small and medium sized businesses. We know that, just in the hours these entrepreneurs put in after their industry standard hours, they are contributing $8.3trn to the global economy. So just imagine the impact these true heroes could have if they could only free up some time to develop new ideas and grow their businesses through innovation.

Small businesses are already making a huge human sacrifice. 33%, for example, have taken fewer than 5 days holiday in the last year – that rises to a huge 57% in South Africa. That’s why we think it’s so important for us to support Small Business Saturday, a US and UK initiative set up to celebrate small businesses around Thanksgiving and the holiday season, to help to spread the word and do what we can to support them.

We know that small business owners sometimes struggle to find the help they need so we’re doing our bit as we approach the holiday season to help. In the week of 30th November, we’ll be offering free digital advice sessions to small businesses over the world. They will tackle topics such as time management, creating great teams and budgeting and will be an opportunity to ask Sage executives and globally renowned business owners how to tackle some of the challenges that small businesses are facing every day. Get more details by checking out the sessions below and #sageadvice

Join in celebrating these heroes of our economy by joining in the conversation at #sageadvice and #smallbizsat

Monday 30th November at 14.00 (GMT): Join Sage UK MD Lee Perkins and social media expert Nicky Kriel in a Google Hangout discussion on how to build an effective team. Ask your questions and share you advice here.
Tuesday 1st December at 16.30 (GMT): Sage Europe President Brendan Flattery will be hosting a Blab with small business expert Maria Gomez on creating a routine that works. Join the Blab here.
Wednesday 2nd December at 15.30 (GMT): Santiago Solanas, Chief Marketing Officer of Sage and business coach Frederique Murphy will be answering your questions on how to give away control in a Twitter Q&A. Join using the hashtags #sageadvice #smallbizsat
Thursday 3rd December at 8.00am (GMT): Join Ivan Epstein, President of Sage International and ICT and small business commentator Arthur Goldstuck in a Twitter Q&A to discuss how to be an ‘always on’  business. Use #sageadvice #smallbizsat to take part
Friday 4th December at 14.30 (GMT): Sage’s CEO Stephen Kelly will be welcoming small business expert Melinda Emerson in a Google Hangout to talk about how time is money. Join our Google Hangout here.