By Maximilian Clarke

Businesses are once more calling for the Government to do more to encourage growth with nearly nine in ten saying that it isn’t currently doing enough, according to new research from IRIS Accounting & Business Solutions.

The results found that almost a third of businesses think that reducing the administrative burdens would help to encourage them to grow, whilst over a quarter, felt that tax breaks would provide the best incentive for expansion.

The research also found that three in ten said the uncertain economic climate will continue to be the greatest challenge for businesses in 2012, followed by operational costs (23%) and staying competitive (18%). Just over one in ten , felt that customer retention would be a challenge for them in the next twelve months.

Despite these challenges, businesses are trying to remain optimistic about their prospects. Three in ten see exploring new markets as the biggest opportunity for growth available to them in 2012, whilst almost one quarter (24%) think that introducing new services will provide their chance to shine and 23% are pinning their hopes on new technological innovations.

“The research clearly shows that businesses are still nervous about their prospects in 2012," comments IRIS' Product Director, Paul Sparkes. "The Government must do more to help if we are to see British businesses survive what is to be another difficult year.

"Most businesses have already been through a sustained period of operational cost cutting but many are still under pressure to look for further savings. Tax breaks are just one solution that will help to encourage entrepreneurial activities and business growth, but it’s important that the Government considers this as an urgent priority.”

Sparkes concluded: “Regulations and administrative burdens will continue to hamper growing businesses, so it’s important that they take time out to look at how they can improve procedures and efficiencies from the inside out. Assessing existing processes and ensuring they have the right tools and information they need to enable business growth is a small but simple step towards improving efficiencies and making better, more strategic business decisions. Strong financial management must be at the heart of this if businesses are to keep their finances in check and give their organisation the best possible chance to grow.”

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