Top 10 Priorities for SME Business Growth in 2014 Revealed

A new study involving small to medium sized business across the UK has revealed more about their top priorities for expansion and growth in 2014, with companies identifying ‘diversifying’, ‘investing in affiliate marketing’ and ‘moving into international territories’ as methods they wanted to focus on this year to develop their company further.

Affiliate network carried out the research in order to understand more about the thought process of businesses when it comes to focusing on growth. 975 owners of small to medium sized businesses in the UK took part in the poll and answered questions about their plans for 2014. All respondents taking part aimed to grow their business in 2014.

When asked if they had ideas in mind for the growth of their business this year, 91% of those taking part said ‘yes’. These people were then asked to outline what methods they’d be looking to focus on in order to grow their company successfully in 2014 and were given a list of answers to chose from, or they could select ‘other’ if they wished.

The business owners were able to select as many answers as they wanted to in order to reflect their business growth priorities. The research for that diversifying products or services was the top priority for small business followed closely by expanding into the international market.

According to the poll, the top 10 priorities for business growth in 2014 for SMEs are as follows:

1. Diversify product/service offering

2. Expand into international territories

3. Invest in affiliate marketing

4. Invest in SEO

5. Invest in advertising

6. Seek funds from investors

7. Invest in public relations

8. Invest in staff members (recruitment/training)

9. Cut outgoing costs

10. Consider merger

The findings follow a previous study which revealed that a quarter of UK retailers with an e-commerce platform had failed to consider affiliate marketing for their business; potentially missing out on a sales boost of 10% growth in the first year of running a programme.

Graeme Sandwell, Managing Director of Paid On Results, said the following: “As an affiliate network, we’re always keen to hear about the ways in which businesses look to expand. Affiliate marketing is an affordable avenue for many SMEs to go down, yet many have failed to realise this fact and are losing out. It’s so refreshing to see it on that list of priorities for business growth in 2014 and, even though it’s not at number one, it’s a fantastic step in the right direction.”