Small businesses positive about 2018

Wednesday 27 December 2017

When you're running your own limited company, you spend a lot of time looking to the future. It's important to forecast and plan, but sometimes, it's a good idea to take stock and think about how positive you're feeling about the future. This is the logic adopted by the Institute of Directors (IoD), as it interviewed over 750 of its members about their expectations for 2018.

The results are broadly positive, with very few small business owners feeling pessimistic about the future. Out of the 762 members surveyed, just 17 per cent reported feeling negative about their companies' prospects in the coming 12 months.

In comparison, 47 per cent of the respondents said they were either "quite" or "very" optimistic about their business in 2018, meaning the net balance shows a 30 percentage point lead for the positive thinkers. While this might seem like the future is bright for UK SMEs, the result is not as impressive as you might think.

When the same survey was undertaken at the end of 2016, the net balance was 50 percentage points in favour of a positive future, with 60 per cent of respondents feeling optimistic compared to ten per cent feeling negative. Compared to this, it seems that enthusiasm has waned in the last 12 months.

However, it's important to remember that optimism is still beating pessimism when it comes to the future of small businesses. While there are understandable concerns about the future of the economy, many businesses still expect the coming year will be a fruitful one for them.

Stephen Martin, director general of the IoD, said: “Everyone wants to end the year on a positive note, and it is welcome to see that directors are cautiously optimistic for their own businesses. We have seen progress in recent weeks in the Brexit talks, and overall, the economy has beaten the more negative predictions for 2017.”

If you're concerned about the upcoming year, Brookson might be able to help. Financial planning is one way to ensure that an uncertain 2018 is more likely to prove fruitful for you, and we have a lot of experience dealing with the finances of small businesses.

If you're looking for limited company advice, you could book a consultation with us or even just download one of our free guides. You might find it invaluable in preparing for the upcoming year.

By Victoria McDonnell

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