SMBs in the UK showing strong growth over the past two years

A new piece of research has been brought to light showing impressive growth levels which have been achieved by SMBs in the UK.

The report, from Citrix and YouGov, found that a third of the SMBs surveyed – around 1.68 million businesses – have recruited more employees since 2013.

And growth of more than 50 per cent has been recorded by around 425,000 businesses in the UK (eight per cent of respondents). Citrix noted that these fast-growing SMBs were four times more likely to have spent "much more" on technology last year compared to 2013 (27 per cent of these organisations said they’d spent much more). In other words, there seems to be a link between tech investment and business growth.

The study also identified a number of scale-up businesses, which are start-ups scaling to larger companies, with 10 or more staff members and annual revenue growth of at least 20 per cent for three years running – a tenth of British businesses qualify in this respect, around 23,000 of the 220,000 SMBs with 10 or more employees.

These "high-growth" businesses, as Citrix labels them, showed an even stronger link between spending on technology and growth – 35 per cent said their firm invested "much more" in technology in 2014 compared to the previous year.

The report underlined the fact that one of the ways technology can help push your business forward is by helping to develop new business models to disrupt current markets, with 20 per cent of the high-growth businesses saying that this was one of the ways in which they had benefited.

And 47 per cent of these high-growth firms said that their growth had been bolstered by technology allowing employees to keep in touch and collaborate with the customer base, without needing to travel. There are obvious cost and productivity savings to be had here.

Andrew Millard, Senior Director, International Marketing at Citrix, said: “SMBs are a critical engine of growth for the UK economy and this study illustrates the vibrancy within the sector over the last two years. Technology is clearly playing an important role in SMBs overcoming some of the traditional barriers to growth and digital competency is becoming the new currency of growth. We hear on a daily basis how our customers are using technology to reinvent not only the way they work but the markets that they operate in.”