Half Of SMEs Predict 2015 Growth

UK SMEs Are Largely Optimistic About The Coming Year

18.11.2014

Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

Half of the UK's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe their business will experience growth during 2015, according to a new survey.

Fresh Business Thinking reports that commercial energy supplier Opus Energy has polled 500 SMEs, finding that 50 per cent of them are predicting growth for the coming year.

In addition, 54 per cent of respondents said they had experienced business growth during 2014, while 51 per cent are planning to invest a significant proportion of their budget towards expansion. Developing products and services and recruiting new staff were cited as the most common areas where firms intend to increase their spending in order to grow.

Furthermore, 56 per cent of SMEs said they were optimistic about the future.

Director of Opus Energy Louise Boland noted that these results were "in line with the most recent findings from the Federation of Small Businesses, which revealed record levels of confidence among SMEs".

She also called small firms "the powerhouse of the UK economy", but acknowledged certain conditions often prevented them from reaching their full potential.

"There are barriers stopping these businesses achieving maximum growth, with 54 per cent saying time pressure is a key obstacle," Ms Boland explained.

Other issues were also reported, with 71 per cent of the business owners questioned stating that having to multi-task and take on different roles themselves could be a hindrance to their expansion.

Access to finance was another problem many SMEs faced when it came to trying to expand their firm, with 55 per cent reporting this.

What's more, 51 per cent stated they struggled to recruit staff with the right skills for their firm's needs, presenting them with a further potential hindrance.

Altogether, 57 per cent of respondents said their company would benefit from a boost - in the form of increased support or access to funds - during the next year to help them on their path to successful growth.

Expert Opinion
It is very welcome to see that many SMEs are looking ahead to 2015 with a real sense of optimism and are also thinking ahead to their plans for the coming 12 months. As in any walk of life, preparation and planning is key when it comes to running a business and it is vital that small firms begin now to review the opportunities and prospects they hold for the next year.

"We would also urge small businesses to not take such considerations alone and speak to other experts regarding their plans and how they intend to achieve their aims.

"Legal advice is an absolute requisite in this regard, as lawyers can ensure that proposals are compliant and also provide guidance on any key policy issues which may also need to be considered."
Steven Beahan, Partner