Key strategies for the year ahead

Despite the fall in confidence for the coming year, OMBs plan to continue to invest in their businesses in 2017, with a clear focus on expanding their UK customer base, investing in their people and IT, along with launching and developing new products and services.

The domestic focus of OMBs surveyed comes through clearly: 51% of OMBs are certain or very likely to expand their UK customer base - while only 17% intend to increase export activity. Although the UK economy is affected by international political and economic events, OMBs perceive the UK market as lower risk - an environment they know.

In addition to investing in staff training and technology, OMBs plan to keep a close eye on expenditure - a quarter are certain or very likely to reduce costs or overheads in 2017, a similar result to last year (24%). Similarly, 10% of OMBs are certain or likely to review and restructure their supply chain during 2017. 

Our report finds that succession planning has become more important for OMBs this year, with 29% of respondents indicating that they certain or very likely to undertake succession planning in 2017 (up from 21% last year).

To download our full report and gain further insights into OMB strategies for 2017, please click here.