Businesses defy gloomy outlook with plans to succeed in next three months
Research from Novuna Business Finance from the quarterly tracking study of 1,201 small business leaders found that while 34% of small businesses predict growth in the coming three months, 70% are making plans to grow. This proportion has increased from 67% at the start of the year (Q1’22).
Of these businesses, costs and cashflow have been the dominant issues to tackle – 55% said they needed to reduce fixed costs, 30% were trying to improve cash flow and 25% were trying to tackle late payment. Among businesses fearing their business would contract in the coming months, the proportion looking at ways to keep fixed costs down rose to 73%.
In terms of investment, one in eight (12%), were spending on new equipment, rising to 26% among businesses in the manufacturing sector (+3% on Q1’22). Meanwhile, around one in seven (13%) businesses were looking to expand into new markets or overseas in the coming months, rising to 22% among growing businesses.
Jo Morris, head of insight at Novuna Business Finance comments: “There has been no let up for small businesses for an extended period now, and signs on the horizon of the storms clearing appear bleak. Rampant inflation, soaring energy costs and shrinking economic growth present merciless trading conditions, all after the serious challenges presented to small businesses during the pandemic. And yet, once again, we see the resilience displayed by small business leaders in their outlook and plans to achieve growth during this time.
“Making plans to grow is often the best form of protection during a challenging period. It provides direction to navigate through the storm, and mitigates the scrapes along the way. It also puts a business in the best position to pounce on opportunities that emerge during a crisis. At Novuna, we work with small businesses to plan for the long term, not just the immediate challenges directly in front of them, helping them to grow during the good times and bad.”