Business development · 29 June 2017

Almost half of new founders predict double-digit sales growth in the next year

Sales growth
Just one in ten new founders believed they would see negative sales growth in the next year

Some 47 per cent of UK startup owners in their first year of business have forecast sales growth to hit double figures in the next 12 months, according to new survey findings.

The Start Up Loans Company, a subsidiary of the government-backed British Business Bank, assessed the outlook of owners running companies founded in the last 12 months, with respondents demonstrating significant confidence regarding their trading prospects for the coming year.

Making the strongest predictions, a quarter of new founders expected sales to grow by at least 25 per cent. Outside of the more ambitious, overall almost nine in ten were prepared for an increase in sales through the rest of the year into 2018.

When placed next to volatile confidence in the wider business world, which, according to the Institute of Directors, sank “through the floor” after the recent general election, the expectations of Britain’s newest entrepreneurs look more remarkable.

Commenting on the strong sales growth predictions among Britain’s freshest founders, Tim Sawyer, Start Up Loans Company CEO, praised the resilience of those setting up new companies.

“It’s not surprising to see the business community at large pause for thought, given the political uncertainty of recent weeks, but our own research shows that founders of startups are a resilient breed and their own ambitions remain almost entirely unaffected.

“Of course there are challenges, but when you’re determined to start and grow a business, nothing stands in your way. What’s more, there’s help at hand, from mentoring schemes and business advice, to ensure startups get all the support they need to survive and thrive.”

Drawing on his own experiences, Duncan O’Brien, whose Dalston Cola soft drink brand benefited from a £5,000 startup loan from the government-backed financer in 2012, brought first-hand advice to the table.

“It’s natural to doubt yourself when the orders don’t come rushing in on day one,” he said. “But you have to stay focused on your plan, and most importantly stay optimistic and keep moving forwards.

“If you’ve done your research and manage to create a great product – and deliver this with great customer service – then you stand every chance of success.”

In a recent survey by analytics firm IHS Markit, small business owners cited investment in technology alongside new product lines as key drivers for sales growth.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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