Last week, in this blog, we looked at the driving force behind SME optimism in the UK economy at the moment. And with the first quarter of the year’s results slowing down, there’s nothing slowing down the entrepreneur spirit that innovates, and sees substantial growth opportunity in 2018, and beyond.
There’s no doubt that we’re living in uncertain times – politically, economically and socially. But in the midst of the gloomy outlook on slowing economies, the SME business community is poised for growth. We look at a few key industries that are being singled out as UK SME growth areas for 2018, and beyond.
TIGA, the network for game developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, released a Business Opinion Survey in January this year, showing the growth potential for 2018 within the industry. According to the survey conducted of UK Gaming businesses, at the end of 2017, 68% of respondents plan to grow their organisation’s workforce over the next year with 70% businesses believing that the economic and business environment in the UK is favourable to the video games industry (up from 64 per cent a year ago). While 62% of businesses believe that they are performing well, this is a slight decrease from 72% reported in 2017. Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, believes that despite the gloom of uncertainty that looms, there is a lot that the Government can do to help drive the industry forward – and specifically discusses the improvement required on helping the Gaming industry access finance, and highly-skilled talent.
According to figures released by the Advertising Association and Warc, UK advertising spend in the third quarter of 2017 rose 3.5% year-on-year to reach £5.4bn – the 17th consecutive of market growth, and analysts believe that the Advertising industry is another untapped resource for business growth potential, as AdSpend is only set to increase in 2018 and beyond – as businesses focus on their own brand and product development. The same report found that almost 1 in 4 pounds spent on advertising, focussed on mobile advertising. The Advertising Association goes on to predict total market growth in 2018 of 2.8% to £22.7bn. In a similar vein as Wilson above, Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association, believes that the UK government requires substantial support and development in order to support the growth of the industry – as the wider UK economy now targets growth across the nations and regions and in an increasingly global marketplace.
We’ve spared few thoughts on the exciting growth opportunity of the Tech industry in the UK, recently – but there’s a significant role being played in the growth of digital protection businesses – and that lies in the development cyber-security specialisms. Research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has revealed that the demand for cyber security professionals will increase over 2018. In perspective, 81% of recruitment agencies think demand will rise significantly in 2018 as businesses look to shape up to a new competitive digital environment, securing themselves from any risk and vulnerability that could stump their growth. The significant rise of cybercrime in the UK in 2017 has resulted in the simultaneous need for specialist skill and service providers who are able to support and equip businesses with the tools they need to function effectively in a digital environment.
Coupled to the greater Technology theme, one other area showing signifiant growth potential lies within the Financial Technology sector. Operations Director of Morgan McKinley, Hakan Enver, reported recently that, “the fintech disruption isn’t in the future, it’s in the here and now,” businesses are increasingly seeking niche tech skill sets (particularly data scientists) to ensure they’re adapting to the rapidly evolving fintech space. The demand is so high that employers are increasingly relying on contractors over permanent employees.” Supported in his findings, a new Deloitte survey of business executives found that over half anticipate investing at least £10 million a year in digital technologies by 2020 as they try to adapt to rapid changes in technology and business models, driven by consumer demands and service expectations.
We are positive about business growth. We have supported business growth strategies for a long time, and are poised to help SMEs throughout the UK get themselves ready for a new economy – as they focus on long-term sustainability. If you’d like to know more about how we work, and how we can help you, get in touch with us today.