Almost three quarters of companies plan to grow in the coming three years as the economic downturn delivers some tantalizing opportunities to expand, a survey suggests.
Baker Tilly's 2009 Owner-Managed Business (OMB) Survey found, three quarters of firms are planning to make an acquisition or establish a joint venture with former competitors.
However, more than half of the respondents predict more redundancies and expect a further drop in sales in the coming year, despite the much lauded "green shoots of recovery".
The survey of more than 300 board directors of companies with a turnover of £5m to £50m across all industry sectors, also found, 38% plan to make an acquisition in the next three years, while 35% plan to establish a joint venture in the same time frame.
Furthermore, around a fifth of firms plan to expand abroad in the next three years.
The survey also reveals larger businesses are the most optimistic about the future in the next 12 months, with almost half of businesses with a turnover of over £50m expecting an increase in sales.
Nearly a quarter of the smallest firms with turnover of under £10m are the next bullish by expecting an increase in sales, while the mid-tier respondents turning over £21 to £30m, are the most pessimistic with over half expecting their sales to fall.
Laurence Longe, national managing partner at the firm, says: "I would advise all company board members to ensure they have a strong business plan in place, show discipline when executing it and react quickly to any change in circumstances."
"While there are still very real threats posed by the recession, there are also opportunities to create stronger companies that will be better placed to take advantage of the recovery when the time is right to do so," he says.
Achievements, charity work and other happy snippets
Laughable excuses for persisting
Spent 56 years at Schroders
Warns on profits