However, more than a quarter – 28 per cent – of all SMEs polled have never evaluated their business practices to identify areas of improvement, notes the research from Be the Business, a new organisation created to improve the productivity of UK companies.
In Scotland, bosses cited lack of time as the biggest reason for not adopting best practices in their business (25 per cent agreed), while 12 per cent struggle to find what best practice looks like for their firm, and a further 10 per cent don’t know where to go for advice on boosting performance.
More generally across the UK, small business owners (fewer than 50 employees) are more humble than their larger competition.
While 77 per cent of small business leaders rate their performance as equal to or better than their peers, 87 per cent of medium-sized businesses feel the same.
Be the Business said it was urging bosses to use Brexit as a spur to take stock and assess how good their business really is compared to their peers.
Tony Danker, chief executive, said: “Evidence shows that business leaders consistently overestimate the performance of their businesses, and Brexit will only increase the demand for our firms to be more competitive. Scottish bosses must raise the performance of their businesses to put themselves in the best place to manage the challenges and opportunities life outside the EU will bring.
“The UK has a long way to go in order to catch up with our European neighbours who are able to produce in four days what it takes five to produce in the UK.”
BTB is chaired by Sir Charlie Mayfield of John Lewis.