Small and medium sized businesses in the UK are divided in opinion regarding the future state of company performance, research shows.
Professional services firm RSM Tenon, in partnership with survey business YouGov, has questioned 300 senior small and medium sized business (SME) managers and finds that only 7 per cent of businesses are very confident of fortunes improving (see table below).
The RSM Tenon Business Barometer, a quarterly survey, shows that 45 per cent of SMEs believe that prospects will improve post-downturn, with 44 per cent predicting the opposite.
|I’m very confident||7%|
|I’m somewhat confident||38%|
|I’m not very confident||25%|
|I’m not at all confident||19%|
|I’m not sure||7%|
|Business not affected by downturn||5%|
The highest degree of positivity in England is found in the South where 41 per cent of those interviewed weren’t confident that things would improve, compared to 54 per cent in the North.
However, Scottish SMEs are most buoyant with 58 per cent of senior managers saying that the situation for their business would likely improve.
John Abbott, RSM Tenon’s head of clients and markets, says that the survey results are not surprising considering the threat of a double-dip recession and the economic turmoil of the Eurozone.
He adds, ‘I think it may be some time before we start to see any serious confidence coming back into the SME market.’
Of the companies interviewed, Midlands-based Mechatronic Systems is not confident about the future. The robotic systems integrator is located in a region which revealed that 46 per cent of businesses there are not positive.
Richard Evans, managing director at Mechatronic Systems, comments, ‘Our business is very much influenced by the capital equipment buy cycle that precedes an upturn in our customers output, and this has been particularly strong in the automotive first tier supplier market place.
‘Over the past year we have had to play banker and take significant commercial risks of offering up to months of credit, and whilst we have had some help from our bank, we have also had to adopt other innovative ways of financing the opportunity.