Companies are ready for expansion in 2014 after a long period of consolidation, research finds.
Some 56 per cent of businesses say they are more likely to invest in growth in the first six months of 2014 than they were at the same time last year.
The survey of 2,000 small businesses, undertaken for Freelancer.co.uk, finds that 45 per cent of UK small businesses are also looking to sell their products abroad through the internet for the first time.
The figures back up the site’s own statistics, which find a large increase in the numbers of small businesses outsourcing their jobs, with an increase in registrations in 2013 up by 24 per cent to total number of 342,733. Projects posted by small businesses increased by 50 per cent in the last six months of 2013, suggesting that small businesses are willing to spend more money to help boost growth.
There has been a 46 per cent growth in UK small businesses hiring IT engineers, a 34 per cent increase in web design, 28 per cent increase in outsourcing graphic design jobs, with a 26 per cent and 14 per cent increase in writing and marketing respectively.
Freelancer.co.uk’s director of Europe Bill Little says the figures reveal that the UK is set to become Europe’s fastest growing outsourcing economy. ‘This means that UK small businesses are hiring in experts to undertake the work that they can’t do. From designing smart IT systems to help run their companies more efficiently and dynamic e-commerce sites, to marketing, financial and accounts experts,’ he says.
Little adds that 2014 looks set to be biggest year yet for UK small businesses, putting them at the forefront of technological changes, with the UK fast becoming Europe’s most innovative and modern economy.
‘But small business are also outsourcing more because the growth in outsourcing sites gives them confidence and protection. With freelancers reviewed for quality of their services and escrow payment systems ensuring security, small businesses are now able to manage a diverse workforce with reliable and easy to use project management systems.’