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2011’s start-ups could add £360m to economy

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Start-ups which launched in 2011 could add an extra £360 million to the UK economy, according to new research.

Henley Business School (HBS) carried out the research into small businesses on behalf of T-Mobile and dubbed the companies they looked at TOTs.

The T stands for twelve, which is the age of the firms in months, O is for an optimistic outlook and the second T is for technologically minded.

This means companies who use smartphones and social media as an integral part of their business and a way of boosting sales and getting themselves known.

In fact, many of the TOTs which were surveyed rely heavily on new technology with 98 per cent saying they use smartphones for email, business appointments and other apps.

These new companies are aware of the potential social media has in order to interact with clients and gain feedback on products, with many of them putting Facebook and LinkedIn to good use.

In a recent study by Accenture it emerged that companies who take this approach from the beginning are expected to get returns as high as 20 to one.

Having social media integrated from the start can be much easier for companies than trying to get to grips with it once established, as it is built into the business, not tagged on afterwards.

Smartphones and related technology, such as tablets, are becoming more and more useful for UK businesses and allow them to be more adaptable, from flexible to mobile working and better communication with staff and clients.

An extra £360 million would be added to the economy if only ten per cent of start-ups became TOTs, according to the findings, which mean this should be the minimum the economy gains from those launched in 2011.

John Walker, chairman of the Federation for Small Businesses, has forecast that unemployment and the eurozone crisis will gave a negative effect on small businesses in 2012, but a drop in inflation should improve the situation.

Professor Dominic Swords from Henley Business School said: “TOTs have made it through the teething phase and have a different mindset that will challenge traditional businesses. They see opportunities in challenges, showing the benefits of a positive attitude in winning market share and leading a growing business.”