The Shape of Things to Come. Ashley outlines why small is beautiful – for businesses

  • Anil Kanda
  • 03 Jan, 2007

Small business invoice finance specialists, Ashley Commercial Finance have re-branded to emphasize the strength of their relationship with smaller businesses. They have also conducted a survey that found most businesses claim to be larger than they actually are. As a result Ashley is challenging industry to ‘be proud to be small’ and for organisations that serve the smaller business to abandon ‘one size fits all’ services.

Cheadle based Ashley, which last year celebrated 10 years in business, is a longstanding member of the Federation of Small Businesses.

Jonathan Cranston, Managing Director at Ashley Commercial Finance, said:

“Defining what a small business is has always been a problem. Officially, the DTI defines it as companies with less than 50 full-time employees that has a turnover of not more than 5.6 million. But then, 97 per cent of firms employ less than 20 people!

Then there is also the issue of perception, just as we know job applicants stretch the truth, most smaller businesses want to grow and can see themselves as bigger than they actually are. This isn’t helpful when they want services appropriate to their needs. To quantify this we commissioned a survey to find that 95 per cent of small businesses claim to be larger than they actually are.

Servicing smaller businesses is challenging and few businesses that succeed do it well by lumping all customers together. Our re-branding shows a philosophy which reflects our clients’ needs of a more personalised service. Ashley can shape our services specifically for the smaller business and we define our market as businesses with a turnover of less than 1.5 million.”