Figures from the Federation of Small Businesses show that Small and Medium Enterprises now account for 99.9 per cent of all private sector businesses, with a combined annual turnover of £2 trillion.

They employ 16 million people nationwide, which is almost two-thirds of the private sector workforce.

So, what’s it like to work for one?

Well, for starters, the size of the operation generally means your ideas and efforts are seen more easily by those at the top of the company structure.

You’re likely to be exposed to different disciplines and areas within the business, and this will give you a better understanding of the inner machinations of your organisation than you could ever hope for with a big multi-national company.

In many cases though, there are no employees. The FSB says that in 2018, three-quarters of small businesses didn’t employ anyone other than the owner.

That can bring its own challenges, but it also means that you will have the satisfaction of running your own business.

In all cases, when growth creates issues for a business, consultants such as BHP Chartered Accountants are there to help out.

The company is increasingly becoming more advisory-focussed, and offers a wide range of services and help beyond the traditional accountancy number-crunching role.

One of those areas is recruitment, which is a vitally important process for SMEs. Getting the right people into the right roles is a challenge that is particularly acute for businesses with smaller workforces – especially when taking on employees for the very first time.

From the job advert onwards, SMEs need to make sure their process is geared towards getting the right candidate in place. But its also worth making a virtue of the unique opportunities that will be afforded the successful applicant by coming to a smaller business.

Have you read our other features in the Top 50 SMEs series?

What it takes to make it on to the list of top 50 SMEs

A large number of new entries includes three in the top five

SMEs once again lead the way

Avoid the pitfalls of selling your business

Award-winning firms are the fabric of Bradford’s success

Firm is tailor-made for the top spot in SME list

Why R&D tax relief is not just for scientists

See more from BHP Chartered Accountants at www.bhp.co.uk