Half of UK Small Businesses Predict Growth in 2015

Despite confidence, significant percentage of small and medium firms worried red tape and skills shortage will hamper potential

Small and mid-sized business confidence is on the rise, according to a new survey, with 50% of business owners predicting an increase in turnover and 21% expecting to recruit more staff in the next 12 months.

Despite the positive outlook, the survey, released by energy company npower and featuring a 1,000 small and mid-sized firms, revealed that businesses remain concerned that growth could be delayed by external factors such as a skills-gap, access to funding and government regulation.

Nearly half (49%) of the respondents stated that they were worried about the negative effect red tape and legislation could have; 47% of the entrepreneurs stated that lack of bank lending could be a major barrier and 33% believe that an inability to find the right talent to increase headcount will hinder growth.

The research also shed light on the shortsighted mindset of small and mid-sized enterprises. Worryingly, the majority of business owners surveyed are only considering the short term and 71% have no succession plan in place.

Npower director, Jason Scagell, commented on the research:

“While we’ve seen a clear acknowledgement of the contribution that small businesses make to UK plc in the recent Autumn Statement as well as through initiatives like Small Business Saturday, this study highlights that there is still some way to go before small firms can honestly say that they are performing at the level they would like.

“These businesses are often described as the lifeblood of the UK economy and it’s obviously vital that they get the support they need to develop and grow.”

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