Business development · 4 January 2016

Vast majority of UK’s small business owners optimistic about growth prospects in 2016

business owners optimistic
Some 40 per cent of micro enterprise leaders are “extremely optimistic” about 2016

Almost three quarters of Britain’s small business owners think their firms will have stronger growth prospects in 2016, according to a new poll by AXA.

The survey revealed that some 40 per cent of micro enterprise leaders are “extremely optimistic” about the coming year, while one third are more cautiously positive.

AXA business insurance MD Darrell Sansom, said: “Up and down the country, small business owners are telling us they’re feeling positive about the New Year and excited about what 2016 has to bring.

“Of course we know that running any business has its challenges and it’s not always an easy ride but most people we talk to are excited about the future. They tell us they do now see real opportunities out there, and they are looking to take full advantage.”

The insurer also found that small firms plan to focus on improving customer experience, innovating and diversifying in order to turn these positive predictions into real growth.

Additional new research from alternative SME lender Fleximise revealed that half of small firm leaders expect their monthly revenue to increase in 2016.

The study found that almost one quarter of those surveyed were aiming to secure additional funding to help them grow in the next 12 months.

In his New Year message, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), John Allan, said: “2016 will see the introduction of new policies like the National Living Wage, the small business rollout of the workplace pension, changes to dividend taxation, and the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy. Each of these changes will bring their own challenges and require all businesses to adapt – but they also present opportunities.

“Whether it’s better ways to manage your business banking, or finding completely new products and services not even conceived a decade ago, small businesses are always found at the forefront of innovation – often leaving big business scrambling to catch up.”

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Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.