Scottish Business owners seek to invest, sell and expand in 2023 despite the volatile economy

  • 46% of business owners in Scotland are hoping to expand their businesses in the next 12 months
  • A further two fifths (43%) plan to take on more investment

IN a challenging economic climate, entrepreneurial business owners in Scotland are being proactive, pushing forward with their business plans, according to the latest research from Rathbones.

Rathbones’ findings showed 46% plan to expand their business in 2023, predominantly either by acquiring new talent or extending their geographical reach. An additional two-fifths (43%) plan to take on more investment and just under a third (32%) plan to go public with their business.

Despite three in ten (28%) business owners in Scotland admitting their business(es) have been negatively impacted by the recent political and economic volatility, business owners remain optimistic and confident, with growth and expansion the key priorities for many.

Others are also taking advantage of the opportunities a volatile economy can present, choosing to develop or accelerate business exit strategies. 30% of business owners in Scotland are considering downsizing their business, and a further 32% are planning an exit or sale.

Rising interest rates, high inflation, and ongoing supply chain issues will undoubtedly challenge business owners and add new financial pressures. But the findings highlight how tough economic times can often present opportunities for business and entrepreneurs, whether that’s consolidation, going public or starting a new venture. Indeed, in 2022 the number of companies in the UK increased by 16,000 (1%) despite economic turmoil. Whilst well over half (57%) of business owners in Scotland say they have concerns about their business over the next twelve months it is encouraging to see businesses looking to expand, invest and sell.

Whatever the trajectory of their business, it’s vital that business owners are considering their own financial futures alongside their business’, particularly if they are considering an exit or growth plan. Seeking financial advice early will ensure that business owners are prepared for the coming sale, listing or acquisition and have their own affairs in order for the future.

Angus Kerr, Head of Scotland at Rathbones, comments: “Times have been challenging for UK businesses, so it is certainly positive to see such resilience and ambition among business owners and entrepreneurs. This confidence and desire for success, and moreover growth, should help provide some stability and strength to the UK economy.

“For any business owner considering the next step for their business, whether that is growth through acquisition, listing, talent, or region, or in fact an exit, your personal finances will be an important component of any move. Ensuring that you have the funds you need to achieve your personal life milestones is just as important as having the funds necessary to achieve the business ones. Speaking to a financial adviser or planner will provide this peace of mind throughout your wealth journey, whether you’re investing more capital into the business or planning what to do once you sell.”

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