The American Express’ Small Business Barometer has discovered that SMEs are growing, having experienced an 88% increase in revenues in the last year. The initial poll was sent out to 500 small firms across the nation. When asked, 52% of respondents agreed that social media is one of the most influential factors that has contributed towards their business growth. Social media has opened up opportunities for businesses and has made them more accessible to their customers than ever before. In addition, 53% of businesses declared entering new markets to have significantly helped drive their business growth and expansion plans.
From the strong results it is no surprise that 44% of respondents believe that now is a better time to start a business than three years ago, with three-quarters of SMEs currently hitting and exceeding their own growth targets. However, when asked what factors prevent businesses from reaching their full potential, 36% stated increased business rates, whilst others put it down to difficulties raising finance.
American Express Small Business Services,’ Stacey Sterbenz, said about the results “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.” Firms are now expecting a further 33% increase in performance in the next 12 months, which is expected to result in a turnover increase of 24%. If you are a small business owner and difficulties raising finance is inhibiting your growth, we are running a free event on Alternative Finance to discuss the funding options available to businesses outside of the bank.