By Marcus Leach

Growth is proving elusive for many UK businesses, but according to new research over 30% of companies are looking to diversify into new products and services over the next 12 months in order to stimulate sales.

With the UK seeing economic growth cut to 0.1% for April to June, businesses know they need to reassess their business plan and consider other options in order to stimulate growth.

The research, carried out by KISS Communications, questioned 100 professionals and found that 22% planned to invest more in marketing, with a further 16% intending to extract more return from their current marketing budget.

Increasing prices was another option being pursued by 8% of companies, with only 2% planning to reduce prices. Just 5% were considering mergers or acquisitions as a way of growing their business.

A small minority (2%) of respondents planned to cut staff, whilst encouragingly 8% were actually looking to expand the number of employees as a way of proactively stimulating growth.

Simon Fryer, Managing Director of KISS Communications believes the results are an interesting snapshot of the different ways companies deal with challenging economic times.

“Growing a business in the current climate is tough. Revisiting and changing a business plan to reflect the times is crucial; what worked 18 months ago may not work now,” he explained.

“Marketing is often the area that senior board directors will look to in a recession. Taking different tactical and/or strategic measures to adjust to new threats or opportunities to exploit changes in the economic environment is often the key to stimulating growth.

"Knee-jerk reactions such as increasing prices will often simply drive customers to competitors, whilst cutting prices can undervalue what a company offers."

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