Small Business Confidence 'Improves Significantly'

47 Per Cent of SME Owners Say They Are Feeling Confident About The Future

05.09.2014

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

Confidence among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) located across the globe has increased over the past year, according to a new report.

The sixth annual DNA of an Entrepreneur study published by Hiscox shows such firms are increasingly optimistic about their prospects, with both profits and recruitment rising.

Hiscox interviewed the owners of 3,500 SME owners from the UK, US, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands before presenting its findings, with all of these businesses having no more than 50 employees.

Results showed 45 per cent of respondents have experienced an increase in revenue over the past year - a statistic that may have contributed towards the 47 per cent who state they are feeling confident about the future.

With regard to recruitment, 18 per cent of SME owners said they have added staff to their books over the last 12 months, signalling an increase from the 11 per cent stating this a year ago.

In addition, it was found that 14 per cent of poll respondents are planning to take on more employees during the 2014-15 business period.

It was also revealed that 38 per cent of the firms replying to the investigation were startups established after the recession, with more than half of these run by women.

Chief executive officer of Hiscox Bronek Masojada commented: "The findings indicate that the grit and determination small business owners have shown in previous years' studies is paying off.

"This is particularly apparent in the performance of small firms set up during the recession, which appear to be playing a key role in driving economic recovery. This is immensely encouraging, not only for small business owners, but also for anyone with an interest in the small business sector."

However, the report also highlighted some of the main concerns of SME owners, with 34 per cent stating they were worried about their ability to continue to attract new customers in the future, while 31 per cent were unsure as to whether or not their small business venture would receive support from the government.

Expert Opinion
Both small businesses and entrepreneurs who are considering setting up their own operations will be very much heartened this research, which indicates that following a difficult few years there is much positivity about the present and the future among the community.

"It is vital that SMEs do not rest on their laurels amid this growing confidence, as this is now the key time for them to be carefully considering their next step and how they develop their offerings further.

"They should consider speaking to legal advisers in particular regarding those next steps – whether it be expanding the workforce, taking up new premises, striking new deals or reviewing their existing finance arrangements.

"The right support can make a huge difference and small businesses should not think about the future with talking through their plans with experts."
Fergal Dowling, Partner