Nearly a third of UK SME owners are also reporting their business has expanded over the past year.

Nearly a third of UK SME owners report their business has expanded over the past year – and the same proportion are expecting growth over the next 12 months.

Research instructed by Shawbrook Bank has revealed encouraging statistics despite the turbulent economic environment, amid high levels of inflation and rising interest rates.

While 29% of owners of small and medium-sized businesses have experienced growth from 2022 to 2023, 29% is also the amount of those who envisage positive projections for the equivalent period through to 2024.

Is this the right time to sell my business?

Of the 500 SME owners consulted for the Shawbrook research, 17% said prioritising an exit strategy was a leading concern for them in the foreseeable future.

Understandably, rising costs, performance-related issues and a need to release liquidity to deal with the cost-of-living crisis were cited as the main factors why a sale was being considered.

However, the research also pointed towards positive reasons, with 40% of the SME owners who said they were weighing up a sale of their company planning to release liquidity to invest into other business ventures.

If you believe the timing could be right for you to implement selling your business, feel free to contact us for a discreet, no-obligation initial discussion about the potential options and the range of services we provide.

Are SMEs seeking to expand through acquisitions?

According to the research, they certainly are. The survey showed that a quarter of larger SMEs view expansion through business acquisitions as a key objective.

Neil Rudge, head of enterprise at Shawbrook Bank, told Accountancy Daily: “It’s reassuring to learn that not only are businesses surviving in the challenging environment but that a decent proportion are thriving and reporting growth. It demonstrates just how resilient SMEs in the UK are.

“Clearly future goals vary depending on where a business is in its journey, its size and its geography. However, whether it’s hiring new employees, expanding internationally or succession planning, in order to succeed most SMEs will need some kind of funding.

“With mainstream finance retrenching from complex and often pressing needs, it’s more crucial than ever for specialist lenders to step up and support our economy.”

How is this research reflected by KBS Corporate’s business sales activity?

Summer 2023 marked the end of a record financial year for us, in terms of both the number of deals completed and the value of transaction fees generated.

Consequently, we have retained our position as the UK’s No 1 business sales adviser in the latest statistics produced by Refinitiv, which cover the first nine months of Q3.

Peter Kelly, KBS Corporate Operations Director, said: “Despite concerns about the direction inflation has taken the economy, we remain delighted with the level of M&A activity we are observing – there is capital out there and we know the acquirers looking to invest.”

If you are a company owner, you can speak to us confidentially on 0161 258 0118 about any aspect of your potential business sale and how we can help you to fulfil your objectives.


download a brochure

Free Confidential Enquiry

    I'm interested in:

    How can we assist you?