A survey of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the United Kingdom shows an increased appetite for expanding business operations in 2013, and further indicates 69% of respondents feel confident they have the right insurance in place for their business compared with 51% in 2011.
Only 12% of the 500 SMEs polled as part of Aviva’s bi-annual SME Pulse survey, conducted this past December by Redshift Research, had no insurance in place. This was almost half of the 20% in 2011, notes a statement from Aviva.
“Regardless of size, it’s important for SME owners to be aware of the need to have the right insurance in place to protect their business,” David Bruce, commercial product manager at Aviva, notes in a company statement.
Aviva reports that 48% of polled business owners who set up shop in the last two years are looking to expand their business operations in 2013. Top factors influencing confidence among SMEs are as follows: relief on business rates, 60%; government initiatives to tackle red tape, 58%; wider economic growth indicators, 57%; improved lending to SMEs, 48%; and reports on insolvency rates, 40%.
“While it’s promising to see SMEs have an increased confidence that they have the correct insurance, they need to also remember to assess their insurance needs regularly, especially if they are looking to diversify or change their business model,” Bruce emphasizes.
In all, 30% of polled SMEs diversified their business in the past six months to maintain business profitability compared to 17% during the same time in 2011, and 23% are planning to continue diversifying in the first six months of 2013 to keep their businesses healthy.
Overall, 37% of SMEs responded they are looking to grow their businesses, motivated by wanting to boost revenues (80%), to benefit from economies of scale (36%) and, generally, the feeling it is the right time to grow (27%).
“The size and nature of small to medium-sized businesses allow owners to be more flexible and nimble in responding to market conditions and to make those business decisions that can have a great impact on success,” Bruce says.