SMEs Plan for 2016

Expand, Export and Employ: That’s What SMEs Plan for 2016

The Small Business Optimism Index produced by eBay and YouGov suggests that SMEs feel optimistic about their fortunes in 2016 and expect it to be a year of growth.

Confidence to Move Forward

Data gathered from 400 small online businesses (all of whom were major online retailers operating on eBay) showed that 49% were positively optimistic about the outlook for 2016, with the confidence to move forward in the three main areas of growth: expansion, exports and employment. Only 29% were pessimistic about the UK economy and the prospects for their business.


  • 40% said they feel confident enough to plan to expand the products they offer in 2016.


  • 13% plan to increase the number of global markets they reach


  • 13% said they are expecting to employ more staff over the next 12 months 

Kit Glover, Director of Professional Selling for eBay UK, said: “The business community should be very encouraged by the findings of our Small Business Optimism Index. Despite a tough retail environment, the fact that digital small businesses are looking to expand their product offerings, export to more foreign markets and thus employ more people here in the UK can only be a good thing.”

Echoes of the FSB’s Study

This study reflects the similarly optimistic outlook of the FSB’s Voice of Small Business Index compiled in Q3 of last year. Even though it showed that business optimism had dipped slightly, nearly six in ten small businesses surveyed said they had aspirations to grow moderately or quickly over the next 12 months.

The FSB study revealed that in the following three months:

  • 16% of businesses surveyed predicted a rise in exports.
  • 2% of businesses planned to employ more staff

Let’s hope the optimistic predictions in both these studies prove to be accurate forecasts of SME health in 2016.

According to FSB data at the beginning of last year, 200,000 small businesses in the UK operate on eBay, with small businesses accounting for 99.3% of the 5.4 million UK-based private sector businesses.

Kara Copple
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.