FPB asked the 350 members of its “economy watch” panel about their plans for the year. It found 56 per cent expect to increase their turnover in 2010. Only 12 per cent are still focused on cost-cutting. But challenges still lie ahead, with 60 per cent expecting to see the cost of business increase this year and 76 per cent forecasting tax rises.
FPB’s research manager, Thomas Parry, says: “These findings are quite encouraging and show there’s a healthy amount of fighting spirit among smaller firms. We appear to be seeing an upturn in confidence among SMEs and, by investing in sales and marketing strategies, small business owners are showing determination and entrepreneurial flair.”
But Parry adds that, “much of this optimism is based on the hope of a recovering economy and increased business and consumer confidence. The difficulty for businesses in terms of planning is indicated by the fact that almost one in five businesses are uncertain about the support they may want in the next month.”