Recent Survey Revealed A Quarter of British SMEs are Planning to Expand Beyond The UK
New research has revealed that more than 20% of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are the UK plan to expand beyond the shores of the country.
According to owners of these businesses that make up this percentage, there are a number of reasons that have led them to this conclusion. Uncertainty about the UK following BREXIT, the rising cost of production and doing business, as well as the increasingly frustrating bottleneck associated with doing business in the country has caused them to lose confidence in the business system.
Earlier this year, the FSB’s Small Business Index reported negative results for the third consecutive time in as many quarters. This is the first time such a downturn is happening in the nine years of SBI history.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in the UK economy. Despite the importance of this sector, owners of these businesses face the same set of challenges faced by their large and successful counterparts, and most of them manage to wade through without the benefit of scale available to big businesses.
The challenges faced by SMEs in the UK
As already pointed out, fear of the unknown following BREXIT is one of the problems facing small businesses in the UK. More than a third of these businesses think that leaving the EU will be worse for their business. SMEs also cited insufficient funding, lack of necessary skills and bureaucracy as problems standing in the face of business growth. This has caused to industry to experience significant downturns in the recent past.
However, while all SMEs appear to face the same problem, not all of them are convinced that BREXIT is a bad thing, and so, they are simply waiting to see the way the cards will fall. So, it should come as no surprise that while a little above 20% of SMEs in a bid to save their businesses are looking to expand outwards, the remaining percentage would rather remain and consolidate their businesses from within.
The problem with running a business outside the country
Growing a business outside the country is every bit as challenging, if not more so, than growing a business inside. There are a lot of hurdles to cross, ranging from macro-economic uncertainty to cultural differences, and so on. But thankfully, there is no lack of resources or help, from financial advisory to outsourcing, and the internet, all of which can help a business break into the international market. In fact, as an SME owner, getting found online is half the battle as placing your business on Google is vital, but easier now than it has even been.
Confidence also plays a huge role in succeeding as an SME, whether in the UK or outside. Decreasing confidence in the UK economy is what is pushing a good number of SMEs away. Once this confidence can be restored, more businesses will choose to remain in the country.
SME owners should also work at getting the necessary skills for their chosen line of business and seek expert advice, as this will help them clear the hurdles to business growth, whether they choose to remain in the UK, or decide to test the international waters.