June 18, 2024

In a challenging economic climate, entrepreneurial business owners are being proactive, pushing forward with their business plans, according to new research.

The research findings showed 43% plan to expand their business in 2023, predominantly either by acquiring new talent or extending their geographical reach. An additional two fifths  plan to take on more investment and almost a third plan to go public with their business.

Despite a third admitting they have been negatively impacted by the recent political and economic volatility, business owners remain optimistic and confident, with growth and expansion the key priorities for many.

Business owners in the West Midlands were the most confident about their business’ prospects with 53% planning to expand and scale up in 2023. In contrast, only 27.8% of those in the East Midlands and 30% in Greater London had similar growth plans.

Others are also taking advantage of the opportunities a volatile economy can present, choosing to develop or accelerate business exit strategies. 29% of business owners are considering downsizing their business, and a further 26% are planning an exit or sale.

Rising interest rates, high inflation, and ongoing supply chain issues will undoubtedly challenge business owners and add new financial pressures. But the findings highlight how tough economic times can often present opportunities for business and entrepreneurs, whether that’s consolidation, going public or starting a new venture. Indeed, in 2022 the number of companies in the UK increased by 16,000 despite economic turmoil. Whilst over half of business owners in the UK say they have concerns about their business over the next twelve months it is encouraging to see businesses looking to expand, invest and sell.

Whatever the trajectory of their business, it’s vital that business owners are considering their own financial futures alongside their business’, particularly if they are considering an exit or growth plan. Seeking financial advice early will ensure that business owners are prepared for the coming sale, listing or acquisition and have their own affairs in order for the future.

Ian Dembinski, Head of Client Development at Rathbones, who commissioned the research, comments: “Times have been challenging for UK businesses, so it is certainly positive to see such resilience and ambition among business owners and entrepreneurs. This confidence and desire for success, and moreover growth, should help provide some stability and strength to the UK economy.

“For any business owner considering the next step for their business, whether that is growth through acquisition, listing, talent, or region, or in fact an exit, your personal finances will be an important component of any move. Ensuring that you have the funds you need to achieve your personal life milestones is just as important as having the funds necessary to achieve the business ones. Speaking to a financial adviser or planner will provide this peace of mind throughout your wealth journey, whether you’re investing more capital into the business or planning what to do once you sell.”

Read more:
Business owners seek to invest, sell and expand in 2023 despite the volatile economy