At Inca we’re passionate about small businesses (did we ever mention this before?!)
For the quality of customer service they deliver, the energy and hard work their owners put in – often for relatively little financial reward.
The opportunities they create for individuals to work for themselves, make their own decisions, and achieve the work-life balance they want in an environment that’s less rigidly structured than the corporate world.
When you’re busy running a small business, focused on looking after your customers and dealing with all the day to day issues you have to manage, it can be easy to lose sight of the vital contribution you’re making to the local – and national economies.
It might not be front of mind when your main concern is ensuring you generate enough revenue to pay yourself, your staff and your overheads, but just like the proverbial butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil, even the smallest enterprise is intrinsically connected to the wider world.
Statistics published by The Federation of Small Businesses make it clear how important small businesses are to the UK economy:
At the start of 2014, there were an estimated 5.2 million businesses in the UK
- Small firms accounted for 99.3 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK, 47.8 per cent of private sector employment and 33.2 per cent of private sector turnover
- Small and medium sized businesses employed 15.2 million people and had a combined turnover of £1.6 trillion
Of all businesses, 62 per cent (3.3 million) were sole proprietorships, 29 per cent (1.5 million) were companies and nine per cent (460,000) partnerships
If it’s hard to see your business as part of the lifeblood of UK Limited, perhaps it’s easier to think about the impact it makes locally. By employing local people, using the services of other local businesses, you’re creating and circulating money which will be benefitting the lives of many people in your community.
Are you a giving business?
It works both ways of course – your business benefits from the local community just as much as the local community benefits from your business. Recognising this, and doing what you can to integrate yourself further, can be a positive and rewarding strategy. It’s certainly something we’ve embraced right from the outset at Inca, sharing the profits of our work not just with our team, but with the local community too – which in our case means Oxfordshire and Berkshire where most of our clients are based.
Our efforts include supporting business start-ups through the Oxfordshire Business Enterprise scheme, and running workshops to help our clients and invited guests maximise the potential of their businesses. We also give to local charities and good causes, earmarking 5% of our profit each year. Our team nominates four charities which each get 1%, and the remaining 1% is used for ad hoc fund raising requests from team members, clients, strategic partners and friends of Inca.
It’s often said that ‘givers get’, but we put these values at the heart of our business with no expectations. It’s always going to be a ‘win-win’ outcome as far as we’re concerned: Local people and businesses benefit, which benefits us; we attract like-minded clients, staff and partners – and best of all, it makes us feel great and engaged with our community!