SMEs keen to expand their business portfolios

More than a third (38 per cent) of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are planning on expanding their business portfolios this year by acquiring new premises and investing more money in e-commerce and new technology, a new survey reveals.

According to research carried out by CensusWide in collaboration with SAP, 35 per cent of SMEs are planning on pumping more money into e-commerce over the course of 2018, while more than a quarter (26 per cent) are hoping to expand by acquiring new physical sites and premises.

Meanwhile, a further 21 per cent are hoping to branch out into other industries in a bid to diversify their service offering, the report reveals.

It found that 48 per cent of businesses felt that digital technology would play an important role in their expansion, with 54 per cent claiming that embracing new tech would be crucial in order for them to meet their short and long-term goals.

On top of this, 47 per cent said that embracing new technology would enable them to reach new customers and markets, while 42 per cent felt that they needed to make the most of tech in order to remain competitive in their existing field.

The survey, which quizzed more than 500 small UK businesses about their plans for 2018, found that businesses are largely feeling confident despite the significant challenges they face in coming months, such as the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May.

Looking ahead, however, it found that almost half (45 per cent) of firms are concerned about security and cyber security, while 35 per cent are worried about how the GDPR might affect their data management processes.