A new poll by AXA has found that the UK’s small businesses owners are looking forward to a successful 2016 and feel confident about opportunities for growth. Seventy three per cent of business people surveyed said they are more optimistic about the future now than they were this time last year and most feel the future is looking bright. In fact, 40 per cent of small business owners say they are ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ optimistic about 2016, while 32 per cent feel the future is generally promising. Only nine per cent are not optimistic at all.
Yet most are also aware that the biggest benefits won’t come to those that stand still and they will be picking out key areas of focus to step ahead of the competition.
Many small businesses owners say customers will come first in 2016, and improving the customer experience will be a priority – while domestic growth, innovation and diversification are also high on the to-do list.
And it seems this optimism and aspiration in the small business community is being followed through with paperwork and planning. Sixty four per cent of small businesses have an up-to-date business plan for the New Year and almost all small business leaders say they feel the benefits of this.
Darrell Sansom, Managing Director at AXA Business Insurance said:
“Up and down the country, small business owners are telling us they’re feeling positive about the New Year and excited about what 2016 has to bring.
“Of course we know that running any business has its challenges and it’s not always an easy ride – just think of those who are suffering due to the recent floods, and the many others who are negatively affected by other factors beyond their control – but most people we talk to are excited about the future. They tell us they do now see real opportunities out there, and they are looking to take full advantage!
“It’s great to see that business planning is taking a central role, as we know it’s important to stay one step ahead of the competition and to maximise strengths, minimise risk, and look at areas where a little extra stretch could bring an extra big benefit. And of course a clear vision is vital for focus and to ensure everyone is working together to a common purpose.”
“Optimism is infectious and I for one was excited by the ambition and excitement I could feel coming from the responses to our survey. Whatever the reasons, we want to see the nation’s small businesses flourish in the improving economic environment, and I’d like to wish all of the country’s small business owners a successful and prosperous New Year.”
Full media release on www.axa.co.uk