By Daniel Hunter

2015 is set to be a year of growth for the UK’s SME sector, according to new research released today (Tuesday).

Half (50%) of the 500 small businesses polled by business energy supplier Opus Energy are predicting growth next year, 54% said their business had grown in 2014, and many are also positive of longer-term success.

When it comes to focusing budget for the next 12 months, The Opus Energy Business Boost Report found that more than half of SMEs (51%) plan to put budget towards expansion, with new product and service development and staffing also the focus of bottom lines.

However, with the top barriers to growth including time pressures and access to finance, and the vast majority of business owners — 71% — saying they have to cover multiple roles as part of their job, many SMEs (57%) said their business would benefit from a ‘boost’ in 2015 to help it achieve its full potential.

Louise Boland, director at Opus Energy, said: “With SMEs the powerhouse of the UK economy, it’s encouraging to see that nearly six in ten (56%) say the future of their company looks optimistic — in line with the most recent findings from the Federation of Small Businesses, which revealed record levels of confidence among SMEs. But, there are barriers stopping these businesses achieving maximum growth, with 54% saying time pressure is a key obstacle.”

Alongside time pressure, lack of access to finance (55%) and not enough skilled staff (51%) were also cited by business owners as standing in the way of growth.

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