Small businesses to increase turnover by £2.4m by 2020

Strong levels of optimism reported among UK's small and medium firms as business owners prioritise organic growth and staff retention

By 2020, the UK’s small and medium businesses expect to have increased turnover by an average of £2.4m, the 2015 Business Growth survey from Santander reports.

Said to reflect high levels of optimism among Britain’s small and medium enterprises, the research found that small businesses are in fact more confident than their medium-sized counterparts; with a predicted average revenue increase of 69% over the next five years as opposed to 25%.

In order to achieve these levels of growth, small and medium business owners are focusing on organic growth (52%) and staff retention (31) as key short term priorities, followed by business survival (30%).

More than a quarter (27%) of firms survyed said they were focused on introducing new products while nearly a fifth (18%) said they were looking to hire new staff – 6% higher than the number that were prioritising this in 2014.

This renewed business confidence also extends to overseas with 18% of small and medium-sized companies now viewing international expansion as their “ultimate aim” – up from just 6% in 2014. Businesses in London were found to be more ambitious when it came to going global with 29% planning international expansion

Mike Reeves, joint managing director of SME Banking at Santander, said:

“It’s extremely encouraging for UK plc that small and medium enterprises, the lifeblood of the economy, are predicting strong growth over the next five years. It is particularly promising that nearly a fifth are focused on international expansion, as exporting our products and services overseas is key to ensuring a stable, resilient economy.”

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