SMEs planning to grow businesses next year as confidence rises

Confidence among small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners appears to be growing, following research which revealed that a quarter plan to hire more staff in 2011.

Orange surveyed more than 2,000 SME owners and discovered that 26 per cent of them had plans in place to hire more employees than they had done this year.

Alongside plans to grow their businesses with staff acquisitions, many owners reported that they felt positive about the future.

Seventy-six per cent of owners predicted that their business would retain either the same level of success or an even more prosperous year in 2011.

Orange also revealed that 52 per cent of SMEs planned to spend more on IT in 2011, with social networking and media, mobile WiFi and business applications topping the list of priorities.

Meanwhile, related research from HP, which took into account the opinions of more than 1,000 UK SME owners, found that over the last year, 37 per cent had grown their business.

HP also revealed that the vast majority – more than 90 per cent of respondents - felt positive about the future of their business over the next three to five years.

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