While we might think that the economy is all doom and gloom at the moment, there are still some promising signs emerging from the first quarter of 2012. While the economy overall may have shrank, this is not to say that some small businesses are not performing well. Business turnover in particular is looking to be a ray of hope, maybe showing the colour of things yet to come.
Figures have shown that Q1 has marked a five year in business turnover, according to a study covering 4,000 UK businesses. This marks the best performance on a quarterly basis since the beginning of the economic downturn, first experienced in 2007.
This survey, conducted by invoice finance lenders Bibby Financial Services, included firms across manufacturing, business services, and construction. It has been charting progress for the last five years, so there are many trends that have been revealed.
Normally, the first quarter of any year has low turnover figures in proportion to the rest of the year. Therefore, the rise in business turnover experienced in 2012′s first quarter could be a sign of good turnover growth for the rest of the year.
This survey also showed that amongst SMEs, many experienced a better first quarter in comparison to last year. This was particularly evident in the numbers of new and returning customers.
Small business funding is also a changing landscape. In the wake of the Breedon report, which highlighted invoice finance, factoring and invoice discounting as key to UK economic recovery, more businesses are looking to these alternative measures of financing – and are finding there are many benefits.
Invoice finance is an important solution for SMEs, and offers a flexible range of services for releasing cash and borrowing against unpaid invoices, all at low fee rates. There’s no need to worry about taking on debt, and businesses will benefit from increased flexibility, letting them expand and innovate.
By facing the double dip recession face on and tackling it with renewed growth plans, SMEs can emerge from 2012 even stronger, and better placed in the market.