Work, employees

A happy workforce is the most important criteria of business success for just over one in five (21%) small and medium sized firms, according to the latest research from Close Brothers Asset Finance.

The Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of UK SME owners and senior management from a range of sectors, also revealed that a third (33%) of firms situated across the UK are looking to take on more staff over the next 12 months, with nearly three quarters (72%) of these new hires to be taken on as permanent staff members.

Mike Randall, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance said: “It is great to see firms taking on more permanent staff and believing that a happy workforce is the key driver of success throughout the business.”

The results also revealed that firms believe customers (15%) and profitability (14%) were the second and third most important factor in determining business success.

Mr Randall added: “Our figures clearly show that firms are aware of the positive effects a happy workforce can have on a business and are looking to grow and expand their workforce. During growth, it is vital for these firms to have the appropriate plans in place and funding options to equal their growing workforce.

“Understanding what assets or finance are required to meet and manage the needs of the business is vital, particularly as just under one fifth of firms consider cash flow as its main business concern.

“As the economy looks to strengthen, it is exciting to see UK based firms expanding their businesses. However we call for all 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.”