Small Businesses Optimistic about Domestic and Overseas Growth

British Standards Institution survey shows that over half of small and mid-sized businesses expect their turnover to increase in 2014, with 20% planning to expand abroad

A report conducted by the British Standards Institution (BSI) has found that 56% of small and mid-sized businesses are optimistic about growth in domestic turnover, with only 13% expecting their annual turnover to decrease. Furthermore 20% are looking to begin exporting overseas while 18% plan to develop their current overseas market.

Although the BSI findings were positive overall, they also highlighted key barriers small and mid-sized businesses worry will obstruct their progression both at home and abroad. The survey revealed that main concerns were the sustainability of the economy’s growth (34%), as well as lack of support from banks and the government (24%) and external regulations hindering productivity (25%).

BSI’s findings also revealed that although the number of small businesses looking to export had doubled, apprehensions were still present due to the absence of knowledge in trading abroad – specifically in obtaining capital, international credibility, export logistics and resilient operational plans.

The report also highlighted opinion differences in separate sectors and company sizes with 76% of mortgage brokers and financial advisors more confident for growth than independent retailers (44%); and a third of larger companies (over 100 employees) more optimistic for growth than smaller firms.

The chief executive of BSI, Howard Keer, commented on the findings; emphasising the importance exporting has in firms’ hopes to grow and calling for international standards:

“Chasing growth means making tough choices on whether the benefits of expansion outweigh the risks. Small firms must ask themselves whether they possess the confidence to chase excellence rather than settling for mediocrity.

“Currently just a fifth export overseas, despite a recognition of the benefits to be gained. Adoption and certification to internationally recognized standards can never be the whole answer, but it can help build confidence and trust, as well as unlocking new opportunities.”

For further information on exporting, look at is4profit’s specific exporting section as well as our first steps guide.

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