According to findings from the June Close Brothers Business Barometer, which gauges opinions of SME owners and managers across the UK and Ireland, the survey revealed that 37% describe the economic outlook as being on a slow path to prosperity in the wake of the financial crisis. In addition, a quarter of those surveyed expect their business to expand in the next 12 months.
However, there are still common barriers to growth which continue to make SMEs lives difficult, i.e. managing late payments from customers, an inability to invest in talent, a lack of marketing budget or not having access to funding for new equipment or machinery.
Survey participants were asked “If you could have one super power for the day to make your job easier, what would it be?” Amongst the top ten cited fictional superhuman abilities were:
1. Being in 2 places at once
2. Predicting the future
Other survey responses included, ‘speaking every language in the world’, ‘winning the lottery’ and ‘being 20 years younger’.
CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance, David Thomson, said: “Despite recent positive news from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it’s still tough out there for business owners. As our research has indicated, barriers to growth are very much part of our daily working lives so it’s hardly surprising that people wish they had superpowers to overcome them.”
David continued with some useful advice, “As we hurtle through the latter half of the summer towards the autumn, for many, this time of year means thinking about returning to work and considering how to handle the daily grind.
“Company owners and managers may not have superpowers but there are an abundance of things that can be done to make working lives easier.
“Think about the technology that a business uses – could it be more efficient? Consider the finance that the company has in place – does it provide enough flexibility to reach wider objectives and aspirations? By regularly reviewing these important areas, organisations will be better prepared to take advantage of new opportunities and enable future growth.