A new report shows that 66% of small businesses are growing, while 28% are maintaining stability, and just 6% are still seeing a decline.
The detailed in the Small Firms Association’s Small Firms Outlook for 2015 survey report, based on 867 respondends out of a sample of 2500 member companies.
SFA director, Patricia Callan, in welcoming the results, said, “We predict that 2015 will see strong growth remain in the economy in the order of 4-5% GDP growth. 2014 saw the initial green shoots from the cities, spread gradually throughout all regions and towns throughout the country. Broad-based regional economic growth must be a priority focus in 2015.”
The survey respondents predict strong investment levels in their businesses in 2015 with 72% saying that they will invest in their business in the next 12-24 months, 20% are unsure, and just 8% do not plan further investment at present. Investment in brand development is the priority for 41% of respondents, with 26% planning to make investments in staff, 18% in IT, and 13% in improving their customer knowledge, with 2% planning further investment in machinery.
“Small firms have now moved from survival mode, to focusing on how they can grow their market share. Brand development and marketing are key parts of this strategy and hiring and retaining the right people is already emerging a problem in many sectors, particularly in IT and high-tech sectors. Owner-managers are now focusing on upskilling themselves and their teams to gain competitive advantage,” Ms Callan said.