SMEs battle on
Research from Aldermore showed that 55% of small and medium sized business owners predict a modest or significant upturn in turnover driven by greater sales and marketing activity.
And 38% said they expected business levels to stay the same while only 7% anticipated a downturn in fortunes next year.
The survey of 300 SME firms, conducted in July this year, revealed that 86% of business owners thought that the economy was either worse than or unchanged from 2011, with just 14% seeing any sign of improvement.
Ian Wilkins, group managing director of commercial finance at Aldermore, said the research showed that despite the bleak economic conditions owners of SMEs remained optimistic about their future prospects.
He said: “They are committing greater resources to sales and marketing activities in order to drum-up new business, with firms confirming they are recruiting specialist staff, investing in new marketing campaigns and exploring new market opportunities both in the UK and overseas.
“Our experience at Aldermore is that business owners are battling on, but need the support of banks to help fund their future growth ambitions. Sadly, too many companies have found that the big banks are either unwilling to renew credit lines, or will only do so on more onerous terms.
“Aldermore is committed to helping small and medium sized businesses realise their growth ambitions, by providing a range of specialist financial products to help improve cashflow, with the purchase of essential equipment and with the acquisition of property.
“Aldermore aims to support SMEs typically requiring funding of up to £10 million with a range of competitive finance facilities which are supported by a reliable, high quality service.”