UK SMEs that invest in exporting and e-commerce are most confident of future growth
Capital Economics’ new SME Growth Tracker has indicated that the majority of British SMEs expect to grow revenue and jobs over the coming 12 months, with those investing in exporting and e-commerce more confident about their business prospects and anticipating faster growth than those businesses that do not. The new report was commissioned by Enterprise Nation and Amazon UK, based on a YouGov survey of more than 1,000 British SMEs.
Mark Pragnell, Chief Project Economist, Capital Economics, commented: “Most small businesses are saying they expect to grow revenue in the coming twelve months, particularly those in manufacturing, financial services and professionals services.
“Small businesses from Yorkshire and the Humber, the East Midlands and the East of England, through to London and the South East are most positive, while only those in Wales are expecting revenues to decline in the year ahead. Companies who export and use e-commerce say they are expecting faster revenue growth than those who don’t sell online or only sell domestically.”
According to the survey, 46% of British SMEs export, generating 36% of their revenue from exports. They expect export revenues to grow by +0.8% in the coming twelve months compared to +0.4% over the past twelve months.
SMEs who export are more optimistic, predicting revenue growth of +1.8% compared to +1.2% for the 54% that don’t. Exporters also expect job creation of +1.1%, compared to +0.5% for those who don’t.
As one would expect, the survey also gauged the SMEs’ opinion on the “Brexit” issue.
In a statement posted on its website on Sunday (2October), Amazon summarised some of the key findings: “Looking ahead to post-Brexit Britain, SMEs believe that Government should prioritise negotiating new trade deals with the EU over any other region or country. The rest of Europe, North America, China, India and Asia are also among highest priority areas for future trade negotiations, while the Middle East, Russia, Central and South America, and Africa are less so.”
The Amazon summary added: “43% of SMEs believe that the wider UK economy will deteriorate over the next 12 months, compared to 33% who think it will stay the same, and 24% who expect an improvement.
“77% of SMEs say Brexit has had no impact on business decisions; while 23% report they have put off business decisions due to Brexit, with 12% delaying hiring and 7% delaying additional investment in marketing, and 7% putting off improving business tools.”