Verastar has learned that UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) believe the availability of more ‘better technology’ will be the most important contributor to business expansion in 2016.

Growth factors

Barclays Business, a division of banking giant Barclays, has recently released its research in which the financial institution questioned UK-based small and medium sized companies on how a number of factors which impact their enterprise’s growth potential in the coming year.

Almost two fifths (39%) cited ‘better technology’ as the factor that will have the most positive impact on their company – up from its position in second place last year. SMEs owners also said that ‘consumer demand’ will be essential to accelerating growth, with a net score of 32%. Furthermore, a quarter of SME leaders cited ‘international markets/opportunities’ as an important factor for positive business growth in the next year.

Barclays Business also questioned SME owners on what they believe will hinder expansion in the next 12 months. ‘Extreme weather’ was cited as the factor which is most likely to impede SME growth in 2016 – earning a net score of -23%. Meanwhile, small businesses also said that ‘money or funding constraints’ (-20%) and ‘industry competition’ (-18%) could limit growth prospects.


Meeting challenges

Commenting on the release of the study, Rebecca McNeil, the head of SME Banking at Barclays said: “Our 2016 Hopes & Fears poll highlights how SMEs are aware of the opportunities as well as risks to their growth in the New Year. It is encouraging to see that many SMEs recognise the importance of technology for their business growth.

“It is therefore essential that businesses are given the right support, tools and guidance to enable them to embrace any new opportunities to maximise their growth. Businesses recognise that there are challenges to growth, such as extreme weather and access to funding, which remain a concern for some. If a business is concerned about adverse weather impacting them, planning ahead and speaking to their bank can help to manage cash flow.”

Barclays Business’ research suggests that the UK is rapidly developing a robust digital economy, and this could provide SMEs across the country with a wealth of expansion opportunities in 2016. However challenges remain, such as extreme weather. It may be advisable to review and update your business plan to ensure your company can handle whatever unexpected circumstances arise in 2016.


Verastar is a leading provider of essential business services to micro SMEs, operating under the following brands: Kinex, Clear Business Water, Titan Telecom, Marble Telecom, Economy Gas and 118777 Limited. Our business model is focused on providing a spectrum of consolidated services that disrupt traditional markets and create great savings, efficiencies and value for our customers.