UK SME Confidence 'High'

According To A New Survey, 86% Of SMEs Claim Their Sales Are Up On The Previous 12 Months

09.05.2014

Fergal Dowling, Partner | +44 (0)121 214 5476

A new survey of SMEs in the UK has found that confidence and sales levels are continuing to increase.

Some 86 per cent of businesses questioned said sales had gone up in the previous 12 months, with a large majority of these expecting the same to be the case in the coming year, reports Journalism.co.uk.

According to Jonathan Silverman, managing director of GSA Business Development, which commissioned the survey of almost 200 businesses, increased marketing activity is part of the reason behind the recent boost.

"Businesses are finally feeling less cautious and confident enough to invest. In particular, they are spending on online marketing," Mr Silverman added.

Peter Martin, of Survey Mechanics, which carried out the study, said: "Businesses are clearly gearing up for economic growth now, and while half of them are getting new business from organic market growth, these companies are really working hard for new business."

But while online channels have proven effective for increasing sales, older lead generation habits have also proven effective, with almost 66 per cent of respondents claiming the majority of their new clients are from referrals.

For those not experiencing growth, just under one third claimed that a lack of cash is one of the main reasons for this, while more competition (29 per cent) and a lack of demand (27 per cent), were also cited as problems.

But despite these remaining issues, overall confidence is growing, with 81 per cent arguing they have seen more positivity among the business community, while a further 78 per cent think consumer confidence has been boosted.

When asked whether a change in government would boost the UK's economy, only eight per cent thought that Labour would do a better job than the current coalition government, with most seeming to side with consistency.

The GSA data is the latest in a series of positive economic news stories, with a number of recent studies pointing to improved confidence.

Expert Opinion
Another day, another piece of research which highlights the positivity which is continuing to develop across the small business community. Much of the doom and gloom of recent years has lifted and means that smaller firms are seeing sales increase and are turning attentions to how they take the next step in their ambitions.

"It is unsurprising to see smaller firms looking at both online and offline channels in order to meet their targets, while the power of word-of-mouth appears to be as strong as ever.

"However, regardless of how and where small businesses operate, the key issue they have in common is the need to have access to the right advice on a range of matters from taking on new staff, protecting brands and securing new finance. Legal support is essential in this regard."
Fergal Dowling, Partner