Tom Keighley

Member Article

Northern businesses optimistic for 2012 and beyond

A recent survey of leading finance executives across the North shows that the region’s businesses are gearing up for growth in 2012.

Respondents to the PwC survey showed signs of optimism for the near future, as 60% were confident that they would grow in the next year, and 20% were confident of growing their business over the next three years.

Risk management and access to talent were also top of the agenda when it came to strategic planning.

Despite 21% of respondents indicating access to talent as a challenging area, nearly half were expecting to see growth in the contingent workforce rather than full time staff.

Agency Worker Regulations 2010, that came into force earlier this year, will create financial impact on businesses.

Over the next year, almost 30% of respondents are planning to target growth through increased market share, and breaking into new geographic markets.

Around half cited their biggest growth opportunity in the short term was development of new products and services.

Jonathan Greenaway, partner at PwC in the North East, said: “Growth will come from looking harder for opportunities, assessing and managing risk more effectively and having the right talent and capability to exploit these effectively.

“Growth will, in part, be driven by adopting a fact-based approach to talent strategy and workforce planning.

“There will be tough competition for the people with the right skills base and organisations will need to be intelligent and flexible in their approach to ensure opportunities are not missed for having a lack of talent or succession plans in place.”

Mr Greenway added that the short term outlook for 2012 is particularly uncertain, and businesses would need to look for growth opportunities.

He said: “The sovereign debt crisis has had a significant impact on confidence levels so organisations should also be prepared for a potential period of weaker economic activity.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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