The use of external advice by new and established SMEs
The challenge for researchers in the field of enterprise and small business research is to devise and implement methodologies which enable agencies to provide support to those who need it and will benefit from it, at the time it is required. Studies of the characteristics of successful or fast-growing firms (e.g. Storey and Strange 1992) are useful but suffer from the disadvantage, from a policy point of view at least, that they are retrospective. What is required are research methodologies and business development indicators which provide ‘real time’ systems to enable agencies to effectively develop and implement their services.