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Publishers rise to SME challenge

In 2008 the credit crunch truly bit the UK economy. In the subsequent four years we have drifted in and out of recession (and back in again). Banks once considered national institutions have been bailed out by the tax payer and whole national economies have gone bust.

Against this backdrop of cataclysmic macro-economic trends it would seem fair for small and medium-sized business owners to wonder how on earth they will survive, let alone grow their businesses and prosper, constantly seeking for advice and resource to help pull through more challenging times and support the economy out of recession.

In some part, the answer to this is reflected in the increasingly booming niche sector of business advice websites, guides and forums which are springing up across the UK. Whilst for most areas of the publishing world there seems to be a perennial decline, with advertising revenues dwindling and audiences dispersing across multiple platforms, the SME publishing sector is thriving. The economic challenge isn’t going to go away so it’s about how SMEs can help themselves and others by sharing advice and expertise through utilising such sites, communities and social media outlets.

SME business owners and managers are turning to their peers, business experts, academics and business journalists to get the knowledge, advice and guidance they need to survive, prosper and make informed business decisions. The online (and even print) publishing worlds are responding to this and creating platforms and spaces for knowledge sharing to take place. Equally, social media services are booming not only with SMEs but also with support organisations providing a constant stream of advice to these enterprises who need it the most, sharing anything from personal experiences to leading headlines and becoming the ‘go to’ platform for the latest news.

It goes without saying but with the desire for sharing at an all-time high and SMEs desperate to seek and share advice, there is a captive audience for the sites communities out there. And perhaps most importantly, the desire for enterprise organisations to tap into the SME sector and provide their own insight is strong, meaning advertising budgets are healthy and the funding for print publications is forthcoming.