The future is positive for SMEs

Tuesday 22 December 2015

While some might think that running a small business would come with a great deal of worries and stress, new research has suggested that the opposite is true. While no small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner would say they are worry-free, a recent survey has found that many are feeling positive about the future.

The research comes from alternative SME lender Fleximise, which surveyed 129 small business owners about their plans for the future. The results showed a good deal of optimism about the coming months. For example, 50 per cent of those polled said they were looking to grow their operations.

In order to do this, 42 per cent of participants said they would be expanding their offerings, creating new products or services that they can sell to clients. Similarly, 27 per cent are looking to invest in new machinery or other equipment that will help their business to grow.

A third of the SME owners surveyed said that they were looking to go overseas and expand into international markets. Meanwhile, some SMEs were planning to grow physically, with 23 per cent looking to take on new staff and 17 per cent in need of larger premises.

The cause of all this growth is simple: higher profits. Over the last year, 77 per cent of those polled said their profits had remained the same or grown. Some 78 per cent of the participants said the same thing about their revenues.

Of course, there are obstacles to this growth, and these can also be financial. Many SMEs find it hard to get loans, which are needed in order to make sizeable investments in their businesses. This is the reason for the growth of alternative lenders like Fleximise, which in the first six months of 2015 saw the amount of loans it gave out rise by 211 per cent, year-on-year.

Max Chmyshuk, founder and managing partner at Fleximize, said: “We believe businesses are generally feeling more positive about their trading than they were a year ago, and our research shows that half are looking to grow their operations.

"This means that demand for finance is increasing, but between April and June this year, we estimate that seven applications for credit from SMEs were rejected every hour by traditional lenders including banks.”

By Victoria McDonnell

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