Economic Change Can’t Dampen UK Small Business Optimism

Over half (58%) of UK small businesses feel positive about how their business will fare over the next six months, according to a national survey of 2,019 small business owners released today by T-Mobile.

The positive findings reveal how the UK’s small businesses are optimistic about the future, with many prepared to make changes to their services and take their companies in new directions to ensure success. One in three is considering developing new products/services (31%) or expanding within the UK (30%) to grow the business. One in ten (11%) small business owners also see international expansion as key to spurring growth and 55% believe they are in a stronger place to succeed than a year ago.

This flexible, adaptable approach could explain why 48% expect to see some business growth in the next six months, despite ongoing economic change. With the new Budget set to be announced next Thursday, March 23rd, and an ever-changing economic landscape, only one third (34%) of small business owners are planning beyond the next six months.

As a supplier to small businesses across the UK, T-Mobile recognises the importance of flexibility and how ‘change’ makes business sense, and commissioned the research to understand how far in advance small business owners plan.

Commenting on the research, leading small business expert and founder of the Bright Ideas Trust Tim Campbell said:

“Small businesses have had a rough ride over the past couple of years but it is great to see that they are now positive about their future. By having the flexibility to adapt to new circumstances and explore new services and markets small businesses can continue to thrive in today’s economy.”

Martin Lyne, Director of SME at T-Mobile, said:

“We commissioned this research to take the pulse of UK small business and its attitude to the future, and it’s really encouraging to see such positivity about the months ahead. The research underlined the ability of UK small business to adapt quickly to different circumstances by offering new services or exploring new markets. We know that this ability to adapt quickly is crucial to small business success, which is why we believe providing shorter-term contracts that don’t lock them in for huge periods of time is the right approach to meeting the needs of today’s small businesses. The more we can give UK small business the support and means to help it remain stable and grow, the better for UK plc overall.”

Nearly a third of UK small business owners surveyed (31%) agree that shorter contracts would give them more freedom as a business. Just under a third (29%) want more flexibility in supplier contracts to reflect their changing business circumstances. T-Mobile recently launched the UK’s first 6 month plan for business customers with a free phone.

T-Mobile is currently running a Small Business Change competition on its website where small business owners can win a prize of £2,000 by outlining how they would make positive changes to their business with the money.

Deadline for entries is 1st April 2011.

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