A cross-sector cohort of UK SMEs predict an average 25% sales increase for the next financial year, new industry research reveals.
The research, conducted by SME working capital specialist Skipton Business Finance (SBF), collates the perspectives of almost 1,000 business leaders from SMEs across the UK.
The businesses were also interviewed about whether they can see themselves hiring more staff with over a third of SMEs (35.39%) saying a confident ‘Yes’, and a further 43.62% replying ‘possibly’.
A cross-section of SME sectors was represented in the research including manufacturing & construction, haulage & transport, printing & media, recruitment, maintenance & repair, and food & drink. When grouped into individual sectors the data still reaches a similar 25% average for each sector.
Greg Bell, managing director for Skipton Business Finance said, “We’re shocked and surprised by these results. When we conducted the research, we were expecting to find a modest average of 5-10% but 25% is truly amazing. This is despite SMEs having to face the uncertainties of Brexit and SME confidence hitting a seven year low as recorded by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
“If there is one thing that we can take away from this survey is how the UK’s SME industries continue to be persistent and resilient even in uncertain times.
“We can all agree that this will definitely be a challenging year for us all and statistics like the FSB’s confidence rating prove this. But these statistics show that business leaders can see a silver lining in these foggy times.”
Many SMEs commented in the survey on the uncertainties of Brexit affecting their business while many others commented that having a working capital solution helped to make growth easier.
Bell added,“It’s more important than ever that in times of uncertainty someone can provide SMEs with reliable solutions.
“As cash flow is the life blood of any business, we believe that focusing and improving on this can be a real-life saver for many businesses. In today’s fragile economy businesses that are still looking to expand and grow need the certainty of robust cash flow to fund their aspirations. Invoice finance provides this assurance and allows the management to focus on their business.
“At Skipton Business Finance, we try to do whatever we can to help make that growth possible. When clients have a facility with us, we never provide a traditional one-size-fits-all package but a tailored facility with their own relationship manager who can help adapt their facility through challenges or times of growth.”
A subsidiary of Skipton Building Society, SBF is a leading independent factoring and invoice discounting provider, offering a range of working capital solutions for businesses with annual sales ranging from new-start to £30m.