The Road to Growth in 2014

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SMEs must overcome leadership hurdle to achieve growth plans

  • Two thirds plan to grow in next one to two years
  • But nearly half believe they have the wrong people in charge to succeed
  • Two fifths are stuck in limbo as a result

UK SMEs are chasing new growth as the economy heals, but they are also questioning whether they have the right people in charge to succeed, according to a new study from ABN AMRO Commercial Finance.

The Road to Growth report finds that over two thirds (69 per cent) of SMEs are planning to grow over the next one to two years but, that nearly half (44 per cent) of senior decision makers do not think they have the right people in place to reach their potential.

Over half (55 per cent) of decision-makers admit delaying strategic decisions during the tough economic period, but now nearly six in ten (58 per cent) are more actively considering growth opportunities than they were last year.

However, two fifths (40 per cent) feel their business is currently stuck in a state of limbo, putting their ambitious growth goals in peril. Almost a quarter (22 per cent) of decision makers believe that it is the differing priorities of business leaders that are holding their company back.

Indeed, one in four decision-makers (24 per cent) believe differing growth priorities have become more pronounced during the recession and nearly a third (31 per cent) of business leaders admit they have very different business growth priorities from their counterparts.

Peter Ewen, Managing Director at ABN AMRO Commercial Finance, comments: “With the recent positive economic news, it’s great that SMEs are thinking about growth again. With renewed enthusiasm, the SME community can really help turn these new green shoots into a sustainable recovery.

“More than ever though, SMEs need the right people in charge, to think about succession planning and exit strategies for shareholders, have the right backing and a clear direction of travel if they are to turn their business ambitions into economic reality.”

Download the Naviagting Growth ebook here.

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