By Daniel Hunter

Growing the business is top of the agenda for over a third (34%) of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), according to the latest research from Close Brothers Asset Finance.

The quarterly survey of UK SME owners and senior management from a range of sectors, also revealed that more than half of firms have already experienced growth in the last 12 months, while a further 37% expect their business to expand during the next year.

Mike Randall, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance said: “With the UK economy set to grow by 2.4% in 2015, it’s great to see that many SMEs already appear to be experiencing the benefits of this improving financial climate.

“More than two fifths of the firms we talked to said that trading conditions were better now than this time last year, and many are making strategic decisions to expand and move their business forward.”

The results also found that a significant number of firms are planning to recruit, with 43% hoping take on new staff within the next year.

Mr Randall added: “It’s clear that many firms would like to increase their workforce and expand but the challenge facing them now lies in how they manage that growth. It’s important that firms have the appropriate plans and funding in place to match their ambitions.

“Understanding what assets or finance are required to meet and manage the needs of the business is vital, particularly as over a fifth of firms consider financial issues such as cash flow to be their biggest barrier to growth.

“We would urge any business owners looking towards expansion to ensure that they regularly assess their plans and evaluate all of the financial options available to help them find the most appropriate solution to fit their business needs.”