​Santander Survey: SME Bosses Optimistic

This spells good news for Virtual Office Businesses in the UK as confidence reinvigorates the market.

Business leaders at SMEs in the South West are among the most optimistic regions in Great Britain, according to a Santander Corporate and Commercial Business Growth annual survey.

The research found that SME’s in the South East are predicting average turnover growth of 51%, the equivalent of £2.1 million, over the next five year period.

That figure drops to 37%, nationally, but still the equivalent of £2.4 million, suggesting a very positive outlook for short term growth, moving beyond the stage of keeping companies afloat.

24% of those surveyed plan on hiring new staff, more than any other region in Great Britain

Small businesses in Great Britain are the most optimistic, forecasting an average increase in turnover of 69%. Medium-sized businesses predicted an average turnover increase of 25% in the five years ahead.

The survival of their business, formerly the top short-term priority in 2014 (57%), is now a priority for 30% of SME leaders. More than 27% of firms said they were focused on introducing new products while 18% said they were looking to hire new staff – compared to 12% in 2014.

Nonetheless, a competitive trade environment was sited as a challenge to growth by 22% of those surveyed. In terms of the regional picture, though SMEs in the East Midlands are the most optimistic, SMEs in the North West and South East are the most conservative.

Forecasts were pinned at 14% and 18% growth over the next five years respectively, somewhat undermining George Osborne’s aspiration to initiate a series of “Northern Powerhouses” this government.

Well timed then, as David Cameron is caught with his trousers down today saying: "We just thought people in Yorkshire hated everyone else, we didn't realise they hated each other so much," ahead of a speech in Leeds.