SME owners are approaching 2014 with optimism following strong economic performances in 2013, according to new research from independent business funder, Bibby Financial Services.
A survey of approximately 1,000 SMEs found that 69% are “feeling optimistic” that the economy will not decline in 2014, with over half of respondents (58%) expecting to see “at least steady growth in 2014”, with a fifth predicting more growth than in 2013.
SMEs are also preparing to put confidence into action, with 59% of SME owners having created a business plan for the next 12 months. In 2013, that figure was just 29%.
Sales and marketing director at Bibby Financial Services, Andy Tait, said: ‘’It is encouraging to see that the current positivity about the health of the UK economy is translating into optimism for the country’s small and medium sized firms – and in turn that they are ensuring they are fit for 2014 by preparing business plans.
“At the same time, it is important to remember that the recovery is likely to be gradual so it’s vital that businesses put these plans into action.”
The survey also found that business owners are looking towards expansion in 2014 and that many are exploring funding possibilities to support these ambitions.
Over a third (39%) of SMEs are looking to invest in their business next year, and just under half (44%) said they would be using an “existing or new arrangement” to fund this investment.