Just one in ten UK SMEs consider their ability to access finance to be a priority in their plans to achieve growth in the coming months, according to standards organisation BSI.
In recent research, the organisation found that 20% are looking to overseas expansion as an additional source of income instead – and 18% are hoping to expand existing overseas operations.
For the majority (56%), increasing domestic sales is the most likely channel towards increased income – and BSI are urging all SMEs to capitalise on any opportunities that come their way.
Howard Kerr, chief executive of BSI, said: “Chasing growth means making tough choices on whether the benefits of expansion outweigh the risks.
“Small firms must ask themselves whether they possess the confidence to chase excellence rather than settling for mediocrity.”
Thankfully, the study also found that optimism is widespread at present, with four times as many respondents saying they are optimistic as said they are pessimistic.
Financial advisors and mortgage brokers are among the most optimistic, with 76% expecting growth, while 44% of independent retailers also believe their earnings will increase in the months ahead.
Overall, 56% of the survey’s respondents were optimistic, 13% pessimistic – that is, expecting their income to shrink in the year to come – and the remainder were either unsure or had no strong opinion either way.