UK’s fastest growing businesses will spend their way out of recession

GrowthAccelerator’s survey of 500 of the businesspeople leading some of the UK’s most promising enterprises found that working with like-minded peers and investing in training for staff topped the ways they plan to pursue growth in the coming year.

The findings demonstrate that the owners behind the UK’s fastest-growing businesses are so confident in their business models – 86 per cent predict they’ll grow by up to 20 per cent next year – that they’re investing money rather than cutting corners, in a bid to help their staff and businesses achieve their potential.

When asked what their biggest business ambition was for 2013, the majority of respondents said they wanted to grow their workforce, with staff training coming out on top when asked how they’d spend additional resources. They also said that if they could give aspiring high growth businesses one piece of advice, it would be ‘to continue investing in staff even when money is tight’.

Simon Littlewood, Head of Business Growth services at GrowthAccelerator said: “In prioritising investment in staff training next year fast-growing businesses are showing they have faith in the strength of their business models. The impact of the recession has hit hard for many companies and we know from the businesses we work with every day that there is nonetheless huge ambition and drive among the UK’s business owners. The GrowthAccelerator service is all about providing the tools, access to individuals who can help and support that businesses need to achieve this potential for growth.”

Also high on the list of activities fundamental to growth was forming partnerships and networks, and working collaboratively with like minded businesses and organisations, with the majority of respondents citing this as the biggest contributor to their growth to date. Business owners who had received formal advice and coaching said ‘the creation of new networks and relationships’ had been one of its biggest benefits, and had helped them towards achieving future growth.

Littlewood added, “We’re seeing an emerging trend for businesses seeking an external perspective on their perceived and actual business challenges, to ensure they’re primed for optimum growth. We have 2,000 businesses signed up to GrowthAccelerator, and they are telling us that getting a fresh outlook, energy and ideas from trusted advisors are invaluable to them, and that’s exactly what our Growth Managers and Growth Coaches are doing.

Those polled were realistic about the financial environment – identifying the recession and general economic climate as the biggest barrier to growth next year – and said growing and investing in their workforces remained their top priority.

Clearly, the optimism of these high growth business owners doesn’t look set to dampen any time soon either, with the majority citing their 10 year ambition as ‘achieving 20 per cent growth or more, year on year.’

Simon Littlewood said, “Achieving 20 per cent growth year on year is the a remarkable achievement for any business, so the fact that so many of the business owners we spoke to are aiming to exceed that level of growth is very exciting.”