More than two thirds (69%) of business owners in the UK are feeling optimistic that the economy will not decline in 2014, according to a study by independent business funder, Bibby Financial Services. With this in mind, over half of the 1,000 businesses surveyed (58%), expect to see at least steady growth in 2014, with a fifth predicting more growth than in 2013.
Businesses are also putting their optimistic outlook into action and planning ahead. In 2013, less than a third (29%) of the SMEs polled prepared a business plan. However this figure has nearly doubled for 2014 with 59% of business owners stating that if they hadn’t already, they would be creating a business plan for the year ahead. As for the rest, how do they feel about doing business in 2014, without a Business Plan?
Andy Tait, Sales and Marketing Director at Bibby Financial Services, says,
‘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.’
Findings also show that business owners are looking towards expansion in 2014 and that many are exploring funding possibilities to support these ambitions. More than 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.