2015 in perspective

Being a General Election year, 2015 was never going to be the easiest of trading periods for the UK’s OMBs, but many still performed better than expected.

Over the past three years, the expectation that business performance will improve has decreased. Among this year’s survey participants, just 38% of OMBs said their business performed better than expected in 2015 – compared to 45% in last year’s report, and 49% two years ago.

OMBs gave a range of reasons for their better-than-expected performance, including:
 
  • improving trading conditions and customer confidence;
  • increased sales (e.g. through online platforms);
  • the launch of new products, services and business lines;
  • overseas expansion or stronger than expected performance in overseas markets; and
  • tighter cost control (e.g. by reviewing suppliers) and debt management.
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Fig 1. Business performance over a three year period