04 Feb Gear Up For Growth In 2014

We may be in the depths of a very grey February but, economically, it looks like the future may finally be getting brighter.
Unemployment has fallen to 7.1 per cent, inflation is back at the government target rate of 2 per cent and the International Monetary Fund has deemed the UK to be the fastest growing major European economy, revising its growth forecast to 2.4 per cent for 2014. And, as the recovery slowly gains pace, The Bank of England is set to keep borrowing costs at their record low of 0.5 per cent with no immediate need for an increase.
This week Chancellor George Osborne told around 30 executives from UK FTSE 100 companies at a private breakfast at the World Economic Forum that it was time to drop the bunker mentality and move forward with plans for growth. Osborne urged large firms to lead the way, boosting the UK’s global prospects with the creation of sustainable new jobs and greater investment into digital and other technologies.
It seems that growing economic confidence has already trickled down to the UK’s SMEs. The Evening Standard’s latest London Business Monitor, which surveys smaller firms in the capital, reports that nearly three quarters of those questioned – 73 per cent – now feel confident in the current climate.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the good news on unemployment but has urged caution, calling on the government to exercise restraint and wait for a prolonged economic recovery before raising interest rates. While the FSB believes Britain’s small businesses may have ‘turned a corner’ in terms of the labour market, many will want to see evidence of sustained growth before committing to increasing headcount or the size of their premises.
MessageBase has a range of services which could provide the perfect tailor-made temporary or permanent solution for SMEs hoping to kick start ambitious expansion plans without committing themselves to a vastly increased overheads.
Telephone enquiries or message taking can be handled by one of MessageBase’s team of friendly UK-based virtual receptionists, costing a small percentage of the price of an employee and freeing up office-based colleagues to work on other projects. Businesses wanting to expand their premises can do so without signing lengthy contracts at MessageBase’s purpose built serviced office space in Hampton, near one of the most picturesque parts of the Thames. Offices are available from single person to multi-employee suites and are renewable on a monthly renewable contract for maximum flexibility.
It will be a slow, steady, climb out of the deepest recession since the Second World War and it’s understandable that many will greet the return to growth with cautious optimism. A flexible approach to staffing or expansion of premises could help businesses take the first step towards realising their potential while minimising risk.
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