Business development · 13 April 2018

Over a third of SMEs plan to expand their business in 2018

According new research, SMEs plan to expand their business, with digital technologies playing a key role in business transformation.

According to a new survey more by CencusWide, more than a third of UK SMEs plan to expand their business portfolio in 2018 according to the results of a new survey.

A survey of 500 UK SMEs in the retail, financial, manufacturing and HR sectors, analyses the growth plans for these businesses.

SME’s expansion plans include an increased focus on e-commerce an increase in the number of physical sites and an expansion of their businesses into other industries.

Commenting on this, Senior vice president, Global Channels & General Business, Cloud Sales & Solutions, Cathy Daum, said: “The high-street has seen major changes over the past ten years, and digitisation is playing a key role in that transformation.

“Initially, the emergence of smartphones created an impact on the bottom line of brick and mortar stores. Today, creating an ‘omnichannel’ experience that is rooted in technology, is crucial to providing customers with a seamless end-to-end experience.”

According to SMEs, digital technologies will play a key role in business transformation.

Nearly half of respondents said that one of the most important roles that digital technology will play in their business, is reaching new and existing customers via marketing and social media.

This is a crucial step towards the recently integrated ‘social commerce’ approach already being deployed in the Chinese market and will happen by businesses analysing customer and business data and an increased focus for retailers on e-commerce.

Daum adds: “Those that pay attention and evolve with consumer attitudes are strengthening their businesses and experiencing advancements as a result.”

In the retail sector, the figure jumps to 54 per cent of SMEs that plan to invest in digital technology innovation for their businesses in the coming year.

SMEs retailer’s main reasons for investing in digital technologies are to help grow their business or meet business goals (54 per cent), to reach new customers (54 per cent) and to manage their business more efficiently (48 per cent).

They feel the most important roles technology can play in their business are to help deliver better customer service (50 per cent) to develop new sales/e-commerce channels (48 per cent) and to reach new customers (46 per cent).

 

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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