A new UK survey has revealed that 60 per cent of SMEs in the West Midlands are predicting strong growth in the first half of 2014.
The Aviva study also revealed a greater sense of optimism and enthusiasm among these SMEs for running their business compared to previous years. When asked in 2012, 34 per cent of business owners said they had lost the initial enthusiasm they had, but in the latest survey this drops dramatically to only three per cent.
Two fifths feel they have a good work-life balance and just three per cent believe that running their business has a negative impact on their relationships with family and friends
On trading conditions, 73 per cent of the survey respondents in the West Midlands said trading conditions in 2013 have been largely as they expected, while 23 per cent said it has been tougher.
Robert Ledger, head of small business at Aviva, said: “The increased optimism we are seeing is great news for the economy with more than half of the SMEs surveyed in the West Midlands telling us they predict strong or improved growth in 2014. This supports recent reports that the UK will remain the fastest growing major European economy in 2014.
“It is also a promising indicator of a return to business confidence to have so many businesses say they still really enjoy what they do. Our results also suggest SMEs are interpreting market conditions better with almost two thirds saying trading conditions in 2013 were as expected. Business acumen is really important in judging when to be prudent and when to grow.”