MOST UK firms see the ability to “leapfrog” struggling competitors as their key opportunity in the current recession, a survey has revealed.
The poll conducted by Barclays Commercial found corporate attitudes remained focused on competition rather than consolidation.
Some 54% of the 305 business owners and managers questioned viewed the challenges faced by competitors as their key recessionary opportunity.
Some 31% viewed staff loyalty, retention and productivity as their greatest opportunity during the downturn.
The research also revealed strong evidence that the recession was significantly and permanently transforming the UK economy.
Some 60% of businesses claimed their organisation has been transformed for good due to the impact of recession while fewer than 25% have continued to operate unchanged.
Lee Collinson, head of Barclays Commercial Bank in Yorkshire, said: “These results show that far from being focused solely on survival, many companies are using this period to make a renewed push for growth and market share.
“We are also seeing a grass roots economic transformation in the UK as businesses change what they produce and how they produce it en mass.
“This transformation is one that businesses and banks alike are working hard to understand and plan for.”
The survey also showed that late payments arecausing greater pressures than a lack of demand – while only 1% of those questioned said protectionism would help their sector through the recession.
Some 24% claimed they continued to grow, while another 60% envisioned a return to growth within 18 months. Just 3% of businesses did not expect to return to sustained growth within two years.
More than a third of businesses pointed to their banks as the single most important resource during the recession, second only to customer base.
Among other findings, 62% of business owners and managers said they were streamlining their business processes to combat recession and more than a third are helping their customers to combat recession in order to help secure their own business.
Some 37% said they are diversifying product and service offerings in order to protect against the recession.Intro