Research for American Express shows small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are confident about their future business performance, optimistic about the economy and believe they have the strategies in place to thrive in an age of uncertainty.
The firm’s latest Global SME Pulse, a survey carried out by Oxford Economics of over 3,000 SME owners, executive board members and heads of finance, found 50 per cent of UK SMEs surveyed anticipate revenue growth of at least 4 per cent over the next 12 months.
Firms are similarly upbeat when it comes to profitability, with 57 per cent forecasting a net profit of 4 per cent per annum over the next three years. Some 43 per cent say expansion into new domestic markets will be a top priority for their business over the next three years. Meanwhile, 33 per cent make growing their share of current markets a key focus.
When it comes to exports, 32 per cent of UK firms identify expansion into new international markets as a pathway to improved financial performance over the next three years.
Spotlight on UK SMEs – additional insights from the Global SME Pulse
Priority areas for investment by UK SMEs for the next 3 years:
- Quickly responding to changing business demands (79 per cent)
- Applying the latest technology (63 per cent)
- Developing and implementing innovations to business models, products and services and ways of working (60 per cent)
Getting closer to customers is a priority for UK SMEs:
- 62 per cent agree their customers are demanding more new or tailored products and services
- Over half (51 per cent) say understanding changing customer demands is a key strategy for revenue growth
- UK SMEs see customer insight as the key to successful innovation: most (over 64 per cent) say incorporating customer feedback into the R&D process allows them to improve their innovation
Commenting on the findings, Jose Carvalho, Senior Vice President, Global Commercial Payments Europe at American Express, says: "It's very encouraging to see this evidence of optimism and self-confidence among UK SMEs. Businesses are deftly navigating through challenges and this resilience is helping them to thrive.
"The research shows SMEs are focusing on expansion and growth opportunities, reaching out to new markets and customers at home and globally. However, it's clear these enterprising businesses often find it difficult to access the finance they need to invest, and as a result they're looking beyond traditional sources to secure funds to enable them to thrive and grow in the long term."
Beavis Morgan – specialist advisers to UK’s SMEs
In this current economic climate, it is more important than ever that business owners look at ways of improving profitability, working capital and cashflow, enabling their businesses to be more agile and flexible to respond positively to the changing economic landscape.
At Beavis Morgan, we work with SMEs across a wide range of business sectors, helping them with strategic planning, system implementation, business turnaround and improving business performance for the future. Our diverse team of tax professionals are also committed to ensuring that your tax reporting obligations are fully satisfied and that every opportunity to lawfully exploit tax savings is made known to you, restructuring your affairs in a tax effective and efficient way.
Alternative finance – the funding SMEs need for business growth and success
With demand for alternative finance likely to increase further as we move into 2017, it is that SME’s choose a specialist adviser who can recommend the right financial products for their specific business needs.
Our partner business, BM Structured Finance, specialises in sourcing and restructuring debt finance for SME businesses. We match the most suitable products to each individual circumstance and work together to ensure compatibility and satisfaction, thereby enhancing the business’ cash flow liquidity and facilitating maximum growth.
Whether you’re a start up or a well-established business, cash is king and managing its flow is crucial to your long-term success. For more information about how BM Structured Finance can help you and your business, contact Simon Belton or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.