November 2, 2018

Brexit business opportunity: 45% of businesses positive about post-Brexit growth

By Lucy Ingham

Almost half of private businesses believe Brexit will positively impact their potential to grow, with a similar number seeing the post-Brexit business opportunity landscape as positive, according a report published by business advisory company Kreston Reeves.

The report, Going for Growth: UK company growth strategies to 2021, found that 47% of private businesses see Brexit as a business opportunity, while 45% believe it has had a positive impact on their future growth plans.

By contrast, only 24% see Brexit as an obstacle to business opportunities, with the same number seeing it as having a negative impact on growth. The remaining businesses – around a quarter – are currently unsure as to how Brexit will impact them.

Brexit business opportunity perceptions boosted by attitudes to growth

Despite wider economic concerns and pessimism from UK citizens, the picture of recent business growth was very positive. 60% of businesses reported growth of more than 25% over the past three years.

Looking to the post-Brexit business opportunity landscape, businesses were also positive, with 58% anticipating growth of over 25% in the next three years,

However, there are still concerns. 21% of businesses see uncertainty, primarily from Brexit, as the biggest barrier to growth – the leading concern among those surveyed.

“UK businesses are bullish about future growth, despite the uncertainty in the economic and political landscape,” said Andrew Griggs, Senior Partner at Kreston Reeves on the perceptions surrounding Brexit business opportunity.

“They are, however, sensibly cautious about how future growth will be funded, turning to retained profits or organic growth.”

Accessing international markets

International expansion is a key component in the growth of many businesses, however the report found that a surprising number of businesses are too “hyper local”, focusing on regional opportunities rather than national or international ones.

35% of businesses say they had no plans at all to expand internationally, while 56% saw their immediate area as they main focus for growth. 28% saw a lack of resources as a barrier to international expansion and 27% considered poor experience a roadblock to the same.

“Too many UK businesses are thinking local when our world is increasingly global,” said Griggs.

“Whilst it is true that businesses will continue to grow in their domestic markets, the lack of international ambition at a time when UK businesses should look to wider international markets has to be worrying.”

The report saw 530 privately owned businesses surveyed, 80% of which had an annual turnover of under £25m.

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