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March 3, 2024
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New Year, new impetus among the small business sector


Eight in ten small business owners are planning to strengthen their companies this year. New research shows that over a third are focusing on new initiatives to increase income, whilst a fifth are looking to reduce their fixed costs.

With around nine in ten saying that they still feel the pressures from the cost-of-living crisis, there is an emphasis on increasing business income and sales this year across all sectors.

Small businesses in the media and marketing sector were the most likely to say they are looking at new ways to improve their income and sales, followed by those in retail, IT and telecoms, according to Novuna Business Finance.

Across the UK, small businesses in the North East are the most likely to be prioritising particular strategies to strengthen their enterprises, followed by those in London and the South East.

More than eight in ten in the manufacturing sector are looking to strengthen, with one in five planning to diversify by offering new service lines or products. A further 14 per cent are planning to expand into new geographical markets.

Similarly, more than three in four in the construction sector are looking to grow. One in five are planning ahead by focusing on their business budgeting, and 18% are building up their financial reserves.

When it comes to making hiring decisions to bolster growth, firms with 10-49 employees were twice as likely than the average companies to hire young people this year (16% versus 8%).

Across the different sectors, those in finance and accounting were the most likely (18%) to hire young people – in contrast, medical and health services prioritised making senior hires who have specialist skills and experience (13%).

Jo Morris, Novuna’s Head of Insight said: “Following the pressures of the festive period, it is positive that such a large proportion of small businesses are focusing on new growth initiatives as we start a new year.”

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