Purpose – Following on studies of the reported importance of a range of external advice and a study of the impact of marketing advice on small and medium‐sized enterprise (SME) performance, this study seeks to examine the relationship between business performance (growth) and the nature and degree of a wide range of business advice used by a sample of owner/managers of SMEs in the Manchester City‐region of the UK. Design/methodology/approach – The study was conducted with 140 SMEs in the Manchester City region using an administered survey instrument. Findings – The degree of use of a range of external advice was positively related to the growth rate of the SME. In common with most previous research, the most sought‐after advisers were external accountants and network contacts. Academic advice was sought very rarely. This study extends previous research and examine the nature of the advice provided by external accountants, which was found to include business, emergency, and financial management support in addition to statutory advice. The degree of provision of this additional assistance was associated with higher growth. Research limitations/implications – The relationship of advice and growth has been examined using a survey instrument. Further research is needed to understand how advice is sought, provided and used. Practical implications – Accountants, network contacts and others were significant providers of advice and, where this advice was used, then SMEs reported higher growth rates. The direction of effect is probably in favour of the value of advice, but there could be virtuous cycles of advice and growth. However, the nature and quality of advice sought, offered, understood and embedded in business practice networks and contributing to social capital require further study. Originality/value – The research extends previous studies by the range of advice and the nature of advice provided by external accountants, considered in relation to firm performance.
Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: Financial services; Accountants; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Performance management; Government agencies; United Kingdom
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera