Suffolk: Menta study finds 90% of SMEs think face-to-face contact is crucial to growth

Menta chief executive Alex Till

Menta chief executive Alex Till - Credit: Archant

An overwhelming majority of small business owners in Suffolk see face-to-face advice and networking as crucial to the future growth of their business, a survey has found.

Research carried out by Suffolk enterprise agency Menta on how small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) use business support found that 90% of SMEs agreed on the importance of face-to-face contact versus online.

A third of small businesses in Suffolk are looking to grow in the next 36 months while over a half see profit as a measure of success, according to Menta, which questioned more than 4000 firms in the county during August 2014,

The expansion plans underline an increasing confidence in economic recovery not just in Suffolk but across the East Anglia region.

Other findings revealed that 42% of companies supply their services and products in a business-to-business context and 38% of owners said ‘drive and persistence’ were key ingredients to expansion over the coming months.

The survey results reinforce business optimism about the economy and that owners and entrepreneurs were the main driving force in the small business sector.

Menta chief executive Alex Till said: “We’re in direct contact with hundreds of small businesses across Suffolk through Menta’s training workshops, networking events, business clubs, one-to-one business advice sessions and the premises we provide in Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Haverhill. Most firms seem optimistic about the immediate future, but maybe a little cautious which is where Menta’s support makes a difference.

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“What is evident from the research results is that business owners and entrepreneurs realise that future expansion is down to them and their drive. Many of them work in great set-ups but ultimately, the buck stops with them when it comes to pushing the button on growing their business.”

Although more than half of respondents thought profit was a good measure of success, 44% believed both innovation and personal satisfaction were important.

Business owners have identified a range of growth areas that they need more support in.

Menta says it is responding to this need by introducing new seminars for 2014 and preparing an “exciting” growth programme for 2015.

For more information, visit the new Menta website at or call 0800 085 5090