UK insurance provider Aviva has published research that suggests UK small to medium enterprises (SMEs) see great things ahead in 2014.
The insurance firm make this claim in light of its bi-annual survey of 500 SMEs, whose latest poll indicates a renewed enthusiasm and optimism in business owners about their business prospects this year.
Head of small business at Aviva, Robert Ledger, commented: “It is a promising indicator of a return to business confidence to have so many businesses say they still really enjoy what they do. Qualities like passion and commitment to run their own business, especially when trading is touch, really shows the strength that SMEs have, and need, to survive.”
Of those surveyed in 2014, 52% of small businesses predict strong or improved growth for the first six months, compared to just 19% in 2012.
Some 62% say 2013 trading conditions were as they expected - an increase on the 2012 figure of 32%. And while 34% said conditions had been tougher than anticipated, this is still an improvement on the last recorded number at 43%.
In contrast, two years ago 25% of small business owners were said to thinking of throwing in the towel and going back to PAYE. This figure has now dropped to just 8%.
Those surveyed even reported a positive work/life balance, with 90% of business owners claiming running their business did not impact negatively on their relationships with family and friends.