Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland have today published the final report following research undertaken by BMG into how small businesses engage with essential markets such as energy, water, communications and financial services.  The report can be found here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/policy/policy-research-topics/consumer-policy-research/how-small-businesses-engage-with-essential-markets/

The research aimed to understand more about how small businesses experience and approach markets, including how their circumstances influence the way they engage with these markets and make decisions.

The report explores:

  • how they search for, and compare deals;
  • what barriers they experience when trying to engage with markets;
  • what importance they place on issues such as price, reliability, customer service etc.;
  • what knowledge they have of the market and how this affects their choices;
  • their experiences of problems and how they seek redress if things go wrong;
  • whether the structure, location or activity of their business affects the way they engage with markets; and
  • perceived detriment or future risk to their business of failing to engage in markets or poorly functioning markets.

A total of 55 business owners were interviewed in-depth from England, Scotland, and Wales, from a range of regions and sectors, and included include sole traders, home-based businesses, rural businesses, businesses that do not use/have access to the internet, new businesses (up to three years old), businesses that buy their energy and/or water services from their landlord or another third party, and social enterprises/charities.

For more information about this research please contact Elizabeth Davies, Research Director, on 0121 333 6006 or Elizabeth.Davies@bmgresearch.co.uk.