Any company, regardless of their size, must have one eye on the future if they want to grow and be prepared for any challenges or industry disruptions. There’s no denying that we may be heading to uncertain times with a Brexit deal still not in place, so how are small UK businesses feeling about the future?
According to two new reports, the majority of small organisations across the country feel confident about their future growth prospects, TaxAssist Accountants revealed.
Nearly two thirds of SMEs predict up to 40% business growth during the course of the next two years. And Wesleyan Bank’s annual ‘SME Heroes or Zeros’ report, which surveyed more than 500 small business owners, discovered that over half have greater confidence in their prospects for growth than they did this time last year.
What’s more, the report highlighted growing preferences for alternative financing as a way to help accelerate business growth. More SMEs are choosing alternative finance options over traditional methods, such as high street banks and lenders.
More than half (59%) of those surveyed revealed they had used alternative finance at least once. This represents an increase of 30% when compared to the bank’s 2016 report. A quarter of small businesses now solely depend on alternative finance, up from 20% in 2016.
However, there were discrepancies between those choosing alternative finance options. Business owners aged 45 and over were three times more likely to opt for traditional lending methods, compared with a fifth of those aged between 18 and 29.
Head of direct sales at Wesleyan Bank, Paul Slapa, believes this year’s annual report shows small businesses are putting recent economic uncertainty aside and are instead focusing their efforts on accelerating their growth plans.
Slapa continued: “The UK’s economic outlook is often clouded by negativity, but this research highlights that SMEs are performing strongly and have built solid foundations to prosper [in the years to come].
“Unless there is a material impact on their business today, there is no reason why SMEs should put on hold their investment plans to sustain and maximise growth.”
A separate report from foreign exchange specialists, WorldFirst, suggests that SMEs also have growing confidence when it comes to their international trading prospects.
According to their tenth Global Trade Barometer, nearly a third (29%) of small companies anticipate overseas revenue to grow in the next quarter, while over a quarter (27%) have plans to export their goods or services to new countries in the next three months.
Chief economist at WorldFirst, Jeremy Thomson-Cook, added: “UK SMEs continued to go global to the tune of over £84 billion each month in Q2 of 2018.”
Whether businesses have already experienced business growth or anticipate it in the future, they will benefit from expert advice. Outbound Solutions can help connect you with business owners requiring corporate and financial advice. Get in touch to find out more.