SMEs are quietly optimistic that their businesses will grow in 2013 despite tough ongoing market conditions.  This is great news for the UK economy as according to the Federation for Small Businesses at the start of 2012.

o     SMEs accounted for 99.9 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK

o     SMEs employed 14.1 million people and had a combined turnover of £1,500 billion

GrowthAmerican Express’s UK Small Business Barometer found that across Great Britain 51 per cent of small business owners interviewed thought their business would grow in the coming 12 months and according to a survey by the ECI, 78% of high growth SMEs plan to hire more staff and 48% are preparing to invest in R&D and new products.

Figures released by ONS in January showed year-on-year employment growth of 552,000 backing up the ECI survey.

As Keith Alderson, managing director of Corporate and Business Banking at The Co-operative Bank points out, “SMEs and entrepreneurs are widely acknowledged as vital to Britain’s economic recovery so these results are good news as we head into 2013.”

According to the survey by the ECI, 78% of high growth SMEs plan to hire more staff and 48% are preparing to invest in R&D and new products

So 2013 certainly looks set to be successful for SME’s in the UK. Now is the time for SME’s to invest, innovate and expand their businesses to establish themselves as market leaders; but American Express’s UK Small Business Barometer also found that the vast majority of SMEs– 76 per cent – are heavily relying on word-of-mouth to attract new customers, therefore having a good customer service experience will be key in driving future growth.

At the same time that SMEs are looking to invest in R&D and new products they also need to look at that their business processes to ensure they are joined up.  It is imperative that these processes can deliver that first-class customer service needed for growth.

Solutions such as SAP Business ByDesign, developed specifically for the SME market, enable businesses to join up all their customer touch points and thereby deliver excellent customer service.

About the author:

Kim Board-Allam, Sales & Marketing Manager at In Cloud Solutions Limited

For more information on how SAP Business ByDesign can help your business, please visit