So many companies make the mistake of becoming too London-centric, but you don’t need to be in the capital in order for your business to be a success. In fact, the findings of a new survey reveal that businesses across the South of England are preparing themselves for growth within the next five years.
Retail bank Aldermore specialises in providing financial services to small- and medium-sized business (SMEs). It recently commissioned a study in partnership with YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) to find out more about the business plans of SMEs in the South of England.
Encouragingly, the report found that businesses in this part of the country have ambitious plans for growth and more than three-quarters (77%) of key decision-makers are confident that their business will grow over the next half a decade.
So, let’s look in a little more detail at how these South of England businesses plan to expand in the years to come.
According to the research, the most popular strategy is to increase marketing expenditure, with nearly half (47%) of respondents planning to up their marketing budgets within this time-frame. This was followed by more than a third (37%) who were planning to add a new product or service to their bow; and a similar proportion (34%) plan to invest in technology.
This last figure is in line with the number of businesses in London and the East who plan to increase their technological investment between now and 2020; and interestingly, it is well ahead of all other regions in the UK, including the Midlands, the North, Wales and Scotland.
Of course, we were most interested in the hiring plans of these companies, and it seems a good proportion realise that increasing staff numbers is an effective way to grow their business – 31% of respondents said that they plan to take on more staff over the next five years.
Aldermore’s regional sales director for the South, Richard Whitehouse, said that every day the provider sees “strong and growing companies coming to us to support their growth ambitions,” adding that “these findings indicate […] there’ll be no sign of a slow-down over the coming decade.”
Whitehouse also expressed his delight that SMEs in the South were “keeping pace with London,” with a similar proportion of companies keeping up-to-scratch with the technology game.
Finally, he explained that SME growth would benefit both consumers and the wider business community of the South, as it would “continue to drive the local economy.”
Isn’t this great news for the South West? If the growth of your business requires more administration help, why not let Lucy Bristow source the perfect candidates for you?