Just under nine out of ten (88 per cent) of small businesses are reporting grown revenues this year, up from 43 per cent last year, the American Express Small Business Barometer has found.
‘Hitting or beating’
The findings also reveal that three-quarters of respondents are either hitting or beating their own current growth targets. In fact, just under half of respondents said that they have seen ‘significant growth’, which is classified as 11 per cent or more. A year earlier, the amount of small businesses that experienced that level of growth languished at 13 per cent.
Furthermore, some businesses said their turnover has grown by an average of 18 per cent in the past 12 months.
Like the figures, small business owners are also positive. Many see the current business climate as positive with 44 per cent of entrepreneurs surveyed actually saying that now is a better time to start a business than three years ago.
Business owners also believe these positive trends is not merely temporary, with firms expecting to increase their turnover by 24 per cent in the next 12 months, 33 per cent higher than current performance.
When small businesses were asked what would be the most important factors in driving growth, over half (53 per cent) said entering new markets and 52 per cent said strong presence and activity on social media as it would foster and consolidate customer relationships.
Increased competition was the most frequently given answer when asked what were the main barriers to growth. Over a third (36 per cent) said increased business rates, whilst a quarter highlighted difficulties raising finance.
“Small businesses make a significant contribution to the economy so the positive picture that our research has revealed is very encouraging, not just for the present time but also as an indicator for future economic growth,” said American Express Small Business Services’ Stacey Sterbenz.