Scottish businesses look forward to a better year as turnover prospects shine brighter

Scottish businesses look forward to a better year as turnover prospects shine brighter

Despite challenging economic forecasts, the majority of Scottish businesses expect 2023 to be more successful than 2022, according to the latest Bank of Scotland survey.

Almost two-thirds of the country’s firms (63%) said they are confident they would have greater success in the coming 12 months, compared to the past year. A fifth (20%) were not confident about being more successful in 2023, and one in seven (14%) expected their business to perform at the same level in the next year.

The research was carried out between December 1 and December 14 as part of additional polling for the monthly Lloyds Bank Business Barometer.

Firms in Scotland projected a more upbeat outlook for 2023, with more than half (58%) expecting a higher turnover than in 2022. A quarter (25%) of businesses expect turnover to increase by between 5% and 19%, and almost a fifth (18%) anticipate turnover to increase by more than 20%.

When businesses were asked what they would do to fuel growth, 91% said they were planning an investment drive. Businesses reported that funding would be used to generally grow their business (43%), invest in energy efficiency measures (42%), develop their company (41%), and increase wages for employees (29%).

Alongside investment, Scottish businesses plan on making several New Year’s resolutions. These include retaining current staff (42%), improving productivity (39%) and upskilling existing staff (35%). 14% said they are set to invest in paying bonuses and short-term incentives. A quarter (26%) are intending to target growth from their existing customer base.

Chris Lawrie, area director for Scotland at Bank of Scotland, said: “It’s certainly been another year of constant challenges for Scottish firms, but that so many are preparing for greater success and further growth as we approach 2023 is yet another sign of their unwavering resilience.

“As well as growth, businesses must also ready themselves for further challenges ahead, including by effectively managing cashflow and reviewing overheads and expenditure to check whether any changes or cuts can be made.

“Whatever their New Year’s resolutions or goals, we will remain by their side to help them to realise their ambitions and overcome any obstacles ahead.”

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