SMEs optimistic about growth in 2012

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Orange survey reveals companies are still cautious about the economic environment but will reinvest profits back into their firms to ensure their employees work as efficiently as possible

More than four fifths of SMEs think that 2012 will be just as prosperous or even better than 2011, up from 76 per cent last year.

This is according to the second annual survey of SMEs predictions for the year end from Orange, which saw the mobile operator question 483 of its small and medium business customers between November 17 and December 1 via its Exchange magazine.

The survey highlighted that 79 per cent of SMEs believe their businesses performed better in 2011 than expected.

However, despite the optimistic outlook, the high level of economic uncertainty still remains, with 70 per cent not planning to recruit more staff next year than they did in 2011.

Instead, they are planning to reinvest their profits directly into the business, with 89 per cent looking to spend more on communication technology in 2012 than they did in 2011, which is up from 52 per cent in last year’s survey.

Orange said the way companies are doing business is evolving, and they need to enable their employees to access the internet, office documents and mobile applications while on the move.

It added that subsequently, communication technologies such as smartphones, tablets and unified communications are becoming increasingly important within enterprise.

Orange vice president of business Martin Stiven (pictured) said: “It is encouraging to see that despite a challenging climate, the UK’s SMEs are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.

“While ‘austerity’ will no doubt continue to be a buzz word next year, it is vital that businesses don’t stop investing in their companies. Instead, they should be looking at utilising new technologies to empower employees, communicate more effectively with customers, and help future proof their businesses.”

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