One in four cite expansion as their main business objective
Business growth is top of the agenda for a quarter of SMEs in the transport sector, according to the latest research from Close Brothers Asset Finance.
The Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of UK SME owners and senior management from a range of industries, also revealed that more than half of firms have already experienced growth in the last 12 months, while a further 38% expect their business to expand during the next year.
Commenting on the figures, John Fawcett, Managing Director of the Transport Division at Close Brothers Asset Finance said: “With the UK economy set to grow by 2.4% in 2015*, it’s great to see that many transport businesses already appear to be experiencing the benefits of this improving financial climate.
“The outlook appears optimistic, as almost two fifths of the firms we talked to said that trading conditions were better now than this time last year, and we’ve found that many are now feeling confident that they can expand and move their business forward.”
The results also found that a significant number of businesses are planning to recruit, with 49% hoping take on new staff within the next year.
Mr Fawcett added: “Two of the most important resources for transport firms are vehicles and personnel, so they often play a key role in any expansion plans.
“Many firms would like to increase their workforce and the size of their fleet, and a significant number now appear ready to do so, but the challenge they now face lies in how they manage that growth. It’s important that firms have the appropriate plans and funding in place to match their ambitions.
“There needs to be a clear strategy and plan in place, especially as almost a fifth of transport firms consider financial issues such as cash flow to be their biggest barrier to growth.
“We would urge businesses looking towards expansion to ensure that they regularly assess their plans and evaluate all of the financial options available to help them find the most appropriate solution for their business needs.”
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*Office for Budget Responsibility, July 2015, Economic and fiscal outlook
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a GMI survey conducted in June 2015. The survey canvassed the opinion of over 500 SME owners across the UK and across several industries on a range of issues affecting their businesses. This survey was conducted online.
About Close Brothers Asset Finance
Close Brothers Asset Finance offers a range of flexible of funding options including hire purchase, leasing and refinancing.
Close Brothers Asset Finance is a member of the Close Brothers Group.
Close Brothers is a leading UK merchant banking group providing lending, deposit taking, wealth management services, and securities trading. We employ 2, 800 people, principally in the UK. Close Brothers Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250.