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The Small Business Service: Business Support, Use, Fees And Satisfaction: Econometric Estimates

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Bennett
  • Paul Robson

Abstract

This paper seeks to assess advice and information support for firms provided by the Small Business Service (SBS) Business Link. It uses a new survey of client use, satisfaction and experience of service fees. The general level of satisfaction with, and use of, the service is high: 28% of all respondents use the services and 82.6% are satisfied or very satisfied. However, levels of use and satisfaction vary considerably between areas, with 13 Business Link local hubs accounting for 40% of the dissatisfied or very dissatisfied respondents. In addition, there is strong variation in satisfaction between services, with grants, diagnostic assessment, financial and accounting advice having low ratings. Charging a fee has been claimed by the SBS to improve the client's sense of value of the services received. Fees are currently charged for services in 37.3% of cases. However, there is little positive association of fee charging with satisfaction, whilst for four services charging a fee decreases satisfaction. It is concluded that the SBS has many strengths to build upon, but will need to introduce a step change in performance in some areas and some services, and should reconsider its commitment to using fees as a means of creating a sense of value among its clients.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Bennett & Paul Robson, 2000. "The Small Business Service: Business Support, Use, Fees And Satisfaction: Econometric Estimates," Working Papers wp181, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp181
    Note: PRO-1
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    File URL: https://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/centre-for-business-research/downloads/working-papers/wp181.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. P. J. A. Robson & R. J. Bennett, 2000. "The use and impact of business advice by SMEs in Britain: an empirical assessment using logit and ordered logit models," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1675-1688.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Bennett & Paul Robson, 2003. "Changing Use of External Business Advice and Government Supports by SMEs in the 1990s," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(8), pages 795-811.
    2. Jaka Vadnjal, 2011. "Know-How Transfer of Public Support Programs for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises from Slovenia to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, vol. 9(2), pages 207-227.
    3. Lecluyse, Laura & Knockaert, Mirjam, 2020. "Disentangling satisfaction of tenants on science parks: A multiple case study in Belgium," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    business advice; client satisfaction; Small Business Service; Business Link;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General

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