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June 7, 2021
UK operator group BT has apparently just realised there are a lot of very small businesses in the UK and has created a new business unit on the back of that revelation.
The approved abbreviation for that market is SoHo, which stands for ‘small office, home office’ and seems to cover companies with a headcount in single figures. The UK government reckons there are over a million such businesses in the UK, employing over four million people. When you throw in sole-traders the sector accounts for 95% of companies and a third of the active work force, so it’s testament to the acuity of BT’s strategists that they have been able to uncover this hidden gem.
Admirably refusing to rest on their laurels, they then went on to conclude that these companies have a high growth potential and thus urged the executive team to try to sell things to them. ‘As well as delivering business-grade connections which offer value for money and a premium customer service experience, BT will launch a new suite of services and apps to help the UK’s smallest and fledgling firms grow by building stronger digital foundations,’ says the press release.
The business-grade connections are being presented as ‘unbreakable’ wifi. Those are BT’s quote marks, suggesting something other than complete confidence in the claim. Apparently it offers full fibre speeds of up to 900 Mbps and guarantees connectivity across the small workplace. There are a few other bells and whistles as well as a vow to offer decent post-sales service.
“By setting up this new unit we’re investing in the future of the UK’s smallest firms and start-ups which are the lifeblood of the UK economy,” said Chris Sims, who is heading up the news unit. “I’m really proud to be leading this new unit at a time when their success has never been more important in securing our country’s future as we rebuild after the toughest economic crisis in a generation.
“Every big business starts small, and we want to help them thrive by delivering flawless connectivity, coverage and customer service – so that their broadband never lets them down. Building on the purpose of our Skills for Tomorrow programme – which has delivered free digital skills training to almost 300,000 small business employees – we’ll also be launching a suite of new services and apps to move the UK’s smallest firms into the digital fast lane.”
It’s a rare BT press release these days that doesn’t seek to conflate its own interests with those of the UK on the whole. As the government agonizes over whether to re-legalize basic civil liberties that, until recently, everyone took for granted, there will be many other companies seeking to repackage their commercial activities as somehow ‘doing their bit’ for the attempted economic recovery. In this, too, BT should be recognized for its pioneering work.
As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno
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