Home grown champions

At Wanobe we are championing the cause of the UK’s micro business owners (typically those 4.5 million firms with 10 employees or less) and pushing for the establishment of a Small Business Owners Day to celebrate their contributions to the national economy.

So it is very reassuring to read that Britain’s small businesses are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead despite the challenging economic climate, according to an important new report.

The annual Barclays Business Regional Impact Index, based on an in-depth study of around 1,000 owner-managers, combined with qualitative analysis by Kingston University’s Small Business Research Centre, says those firms that were surveyed indicate that they are seeking to grow, and to enhance their profitability. This suggests that these SMEs are optimistic and stepping up to the challenges of the recovery.

Encouragingly, owners of small businesses still retain a good sense of optimism and are looking to innovation to help boost their business in 2012. Over a third (37 per cent) of Britain small businesses looking to grow next year see innovation as the key driver, while 25 per cent of businesses are doing more with less next year. Only 15 per cent expect to take on new employees to help deliver growth.

Some other key data from the survey:

  • 66 per cent of small firms aim to expand in 2011 – an increase of 12 percentage points since 2010.
  • Owner-managers are turning to investment in product and service development and marketing to drive this growth.
  • Sales are expected to increase to other businesses and private clients, but public sector transactions are expected to fall or stagnate.
  • Web-based firms are expecting greater profit increase than ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses.
  • Mood was not unrelentingly positive: lack of demand, cash-flow problems and growing competition seen as biggest barriers to recovery

About Wanobe, the business knowledge network
Writer, journalist and broadcaster, sixty-something David likes nothing better than being with family and friends, eating out and drinking great wines, and scuba diving.

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