Small businesses are hoping to beat the recession by stepping up their sales and marketing strategies.
Research carried out by the Forum of Private Business found that after cutting operating costs to the bare minimum, many smaller firms are now hiring sales staff, improving their websites and boosting marketing activities in an effort to tackle tough trading conditions.
The FPB also found that business owners expect their efforts to pay off. Fifty-six per cent of those surveyed expect to increase their turnover in 2010, and 44% believe their business will grow.
The findings are the first of the FPB’s new Economy Watch panel, a body of more than 350 members who are sharing their experiences as the economy heads away from recession.
The first results paint a generally positive picture, with companies expressing a defiant attitude to the downturn and only 13% concentrating on cutting costs.
However, business owners expect to see continuing tough times ahead. Sixty per cent of those surveyed expect to see the general cost of business increase this year and 76% are anticipating tax increases.
Commenting on the results, the FPB’s research manager, Thomas Parry, said: “These findings are quite encouraging and show there’s a healthy amount of fighting spirit among smaller firms.
“However, much of this optimism is based on the hope of a recovering economy and increased business and consumer confidence.”