SMEs are the true entrepreneurs of the UK – they are the very heartbeat of the British economy and they deserve our support.

Hermes was lucky enough to be chosen by the BBC to provide a backdrop as the news team reported on the latest employment figures last week. Filming took place inside our new fully automated flagship hub in Warrington and I was interviewed along with two of our couriers.

As it was revealed that UK unemployment edged closer to a six-year low in the three months to the end of June, a new report suggested that Britain is now the self-employment capital of Western Europe. The number of self-employed people has grown by 1.5 million over the past 13 years, now totalling 4.5 million and representing 15% of the labour force. Hermes was a suitable choice for the BBC’s live report, largely because of the network of 9,500 self-employed couriers we have in place. On camera, I explained that our lifestyle couriers enjoy the freedom of choosing how much work they do – often fitting their job around other work or childcare.

We were also a relevant destination for the BBC because of the support we provide to SMEs, of which there are approximately 4.9 million in the UK. As our couriers are self-employed, often running their own businesses, Hermes is directly supporting SME growth, as well as providing delivery services to external small businesses. The majority of businesses start from small beginnings and I firmly believe that SMEs are the true entrepreneurs of the UK. They are the very heartbeat of the British economy and they deserve our support.

The growth of the internet has provided a platform for the creation of a new wave of SMEs, especially within the retail sector in the form of internet power sellers. At Hermes we have been working hard to create tailored solutions that offer SMEs a competitive advantage. Earlier this year we launched the myHermes Business Account, which provides a range of important benefits, including a new pricing structure, a dedicated account manager and access to a UK based customer service team.

Our tailored myHermes Business Account for SMEs can be integrated with a number of the leading third-party e-commerce platforms, such as Channel Advisor, Linnworks and eSeller Pro, providing full visibility and control over day-to-day shipping operations. In addition, our account holders will be able to take advantage of a free van collection service, available for companies sending more than 150 parcels a week. 

The delivery element is an absolutely key part of any online business and can quite simply make the difference between success and failure. Therefore it was our objective to help SMEs save time and money, whilst ensuring they are able to provide an even better service to their customer base.

  • Martijn de Lange, operations director, Hermes