While every business is unique, there are common threads running through all companies. One such thread is the drive to be well organised so essentials are dealt with, leaving business owners the time to focus on moving their business forward.
The challenge is that there is inevitably something that steers business owners away from their priorities – and often this ‘something’ is identified as red tape.
In the 2011 Sage Business Index the role of government featured heavily – over half of small business surveyed put government bureaucracy and legislation as the least favourable aspect to doing business in their country.
We spoke to Simone Clarkin, just one our 6 million customers throughout the small and medium business sector. Simone is the owner of Newcastle based deli Mmm… and we asked for her thoughts on the impact red tape.
“There’s a lot of bureaucracy and red tape involved in being a small business and it takes a lot of time out of your day to cope with that. It does take a lot of time when it would be nice to be spending time actually dealing with customers and looking for new products, rather than spending time doing ‘back room’ stuff.”
Governments have said concerted efforts have been made – and more are planned – to reduce red tape in a drive to help businesses grow. These commitments include the Canadian ‘Red Tape Action Plan’ and a pledge by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable to scrap hundreds of thousands of regulations.
The pledges follow research that is consistent in showing the impact bureaucracy can have on business; Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called excessive regulations and paperwork “a silent killer of jobs”.
Mirroring this sentiment, the Australian Chamber of Commerce recently released statistics showing that 72% of businesses are spending more on regulation than they were two years ago. The report says nearly 40% of businesses surveyed take more than 5 hours each week completing regulatory paperwork.
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