Date of release: Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Professor David GrayBusiness performance has improved for more than two-thirds of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) compared to three years ago, according to research commissioned by Top 20 accountants Kingston Smith and jointly carried out by the universities of Greenwich and Birmingham.

David Gray, Professor of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour within Greenwich's Business School, found that SMEs were showing increased turnover, profitability and staff numbers. More than 1,000 SMEs were surveyed in order to find out how they attracted new business.

The findings form part of a report, Winning New Business, the fourth in Kingston Smith's 'SME Success' series.

Professor Gray says: "The study, based on a large-scale national survey, shows that SMEs are doing well, particularly those that show an entrepreneurial spirit. What surprised us is that there were no significant regional differences. The rest of the UK is doing as well as London and the south-east."

Research found that turnover growth differs greatly by sector, however, with information and communication, finance and insurance activities, and transport and storage leading the way.

Paul Samrah, Partner at Kingston Smith, adds: "This survey validates the view that SMEs have a critical role to play in driving the UK economy. The results are a positive reflection regarding future growth for SMEs. Much of the improved business performance can be attributed to a solid economic base with SMEs demonstrating tenacity, drive and commitment to finding innovative ways of winning business."

The report also indicates that that SMEs consider the most important sources for generating new sales to be from selling existing products and services, rather than developing new products and services. Almost 60 per cent of all SMEs surveyed said that they currently export to both the EU and the rest of the world.

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Story by Public Relations

Picture: Professor David Gray