What are your feelings about the 2013 business year? According to the latest figures from AXA Business Insurance, more small to medium sized businesses are feeling optimistic about the year to come. Comparing to last year, their annual Optimism Index paints overall a positive picture for UK businesses. 8 out of 10 businesses interviewed are feeling optimistic about their business’ prospects in the coming year, and the majority are even expecting to experience growth – great news not only for the small businesses themselves, but also for the UK’s wider economic predictions.
The index, compiled by AXA, one of the largest business insurers in the UK, shows that this time last year only 35% of small and medium businesses were optimistic about their company growing over the coming year. Today, that figure has risen to 63%, showing some real improvements in optimism as well as showing the more positive economic position of many small businesses.
More businesses are also planning to invest further to allow for themselves to grow. 38% of SMEs are planning to take on new staff – great for the employment rates – compared to 9% last year (although in the end, 35% of SME ended up taking on new staff). 53% are also planning to invest in new equipment or other, non-employee resources, which doubles last year’s figure of 25%.
This all paints a very positive picture of SME mindsets looking forward to the second half of 2013. If your business is looking to make the most of the opportunities that the year has to offer, then taking advantage of the UK’s increasingly diverse lending environment is a must. While the banks may be failing to plug the SME lending gap, there are many independent lenders that can help with products such as invoice factoring and invoice discounting.