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The Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain

Are you interested in the performance of Britain's population of small and medium-sized firms, and the experiences of business owners and managers? Would you like to find out more about a particular topic, examine regional differences, or track changes in business attitudes and performance over an extended period? The Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain provides an authoritative and independent insight into these issues for the benefit of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners.

Owners and managers: have your say in our next survey!

Please complete our next online survey – it only takes a few minutes, but there are real benefits in taking part.  It’s an opportunity to consider where you stand on topical business issues, to benchmark yourself against other businesses, and to share your views and experiences with a wider audience.  You will receive a free electronic summary of the findings as they are published and a convenient link to the full Quarterly Survey report.  We may also be able to offer occasional media opportunities to businesses interested in being a featured as a case study.

Latest report

Download the 2014 Q2 report on goals, success and values.

This quarter, we examine what SME owners and managers see as the best and worst aspects of owning and / or managing a small or medium-sized business, as compared to alternative career options such as working as an employee in a larger organisation. We also look at the way that people frame goals for their business, the degree to which they use it to express personal values, and the measures they adopt in order to evaluate its success. The main telephone survey findings are complemented by additional qualitative findings obtained from our online survey respondents and three in-depth case studies.

Free access to the Quarterly Survey

You can now get a free PDF download of the latest survey report in our extensive archive of previous reports dating back to 1990.

Free release notifications by email!

Send us your contact details (name, organisation, email address) and we will notify you by email when the latest report is released.

Printed reports – subscriptions and single issue

Subscribe to the full printed report, delivered to your door by first class post for just £200 (annual subscription) or £55 (single issue). Contact Julie Sullivan, Quarterly Survey Administrator for further details.

Research and sponsorship opportunities

Contact Richard Blundel to discuss potential options, including sponsorship of topical questions in a Quarterly Survey report, corporate sponsorship, and commissioned reports.

Contact us


The Quarterly Survey has been monitoring small business attitudes and performance since 1984 when it was created by Graham Bannock, research director of the pioneering Bolton Report on small firms. Survey findings have been used by policy-makers, businesses and researchers, as well as providing news stories in both general and specialist media. Each quarterly report represents the views and experiences of more than 1,000 owners and managers. The data is gathered from a national structured sample, conducted by telephone, and through a parallel online survey in order to reflect the complexity and richness of business life in Britain today. The survey findings are complemented by a set of in-depth case studies, based on interviews with respondents. The Quarterly Survey report is edited by Dr Richard Blundel and draws on the experience of other Open University academics. The survey attracts external funding and offers opportunities to sponsor special topic questions or to commission additional studies. The Quarterly Survey is editorially independent and any opinions expressed in its reports are not necessarily those of The Open University or of any other organisations.