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Two in three UK small firms have plans to grow

14 November 2017

Two in three UK small firms have plans to growUK small businesses need to build partnerships in order to achieve their growth ambitions, according to a new report.

Pivoting your Products, a new study conducted by Enterprise Nation for RB, has found that 78% of UK businesses plan to scale and grow - both domestically and internationally - over the next two years; and 63% of British companies are "confident" or '"very confident" about developing a new purpose for their product or expanding it to a new audience segment.

However, significant barriers are stopping business owners from moving forward. Nearly half (41%) say they can't find the right partner. There are also concerns over lack of expertise (25%), knowledge of how to market to a new audience (23%) and understanding of process (21%).

The findings show that UK businesses are looking for support to expand, with 66% saying they would partner with a multinational organisation to scale their business or take it in a new direction. UK SMEs with growth plans are looking for partners that can inject market expertise (43%), marketing and PR (36%) and product development (19%) as well as direct funding (57%).

However, while small business owners often consult peers (52%), online business networks (50%) and friends and family (44%), only 4% say they have approached large corporates.

Dave Challis, vp innovation at RB, said: "UK small businesses know what they need to get ideas off the ground - they just need to look outside themselves and their usual networks in order to maximise growth opportunities."

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: "There is a gap between ambition and action that can be plugged with input from like-minded partners. British businesses feel they are ready to capitalise on success already experienced in their local markets, but must take that next step and seek the right partner to drive growth over the coming years."

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