UK small companies predicting strong income growth

UK SMEs are looking forward to increased revenues in the next few years, finds research.

Nearly two thirds (61 per cent) of SME decisionmakers expect increased income growth in the next two years, with some expecting increases of 20 per cent upwards, according to Opus Energy’s Brighter Business Report of 500 SME senior decisionmakers.

In terms of revenue, 26 per cent of SME respondents expect this to increase 5-10 per cent, with another 17 per cent expecting turnover to increase by 11-20 per cent. Only 14 per cent of respondents forecast no growth at all.

When asked what would give the biggest boost to their business, exploiting new markets (33 per cent), a better-skilled workforce (20 per cent) and more favourable government initiatives such as lower tax or interest rates (16 per cent) are identified at the top of SME wish lists for the next two years, followed by factors such as diversification (14 per cent) and better access to finance (10 per cent).

Managing director of Opus Energy Louise Boland says, ‘It’s great to see SMEs forecasting such a bright future, as they are the lifeblood of the UK. For many SMEs, getting on with business as usual is of utmost importance, and it’s refreshing to see such optimism during a time of great political uncertainty.’

However, SME decisionmakers do identify barriers to their growth, with economic uncertainty (36 per cent), competition (30 per cent) and cash flow (17 per cent) keeping them awake at night.

Tax (16 per cent), political red tape (16 per cent) and the skills shortage (15 per cent) also feature as major concerns. In contrast, over a fifth of respondents, 22 per cent, say there are no barriers to growth whatsoever.

Boland says that businesses will always encounter barriers, as each business is exposed to different risks that can affect growth – be that social, political or economic.

‘While it’s fantastic to see that over a fifth of businesses foresee no barriers, it’s helpful to identify what road blocks SMEs are encountering, as it means helpful measures can be put in place to help counteract their concerns.

‘For the UK economy to thrive, we need a strong SME network, so we hope our report demonstrates current SME sentiment and can provide the solutions many are looking for to help them reach their next step of their evolution.’

Further reading on income growth

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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