YORKSHIRE businesses are gearing up for growth in the new year, says a survey.
The survey of more than 90 finance executives across the North shows that respondents are cautiously optimistic for growth over the next three years.
Almost 60% are confident that they will grow in the next year and more than 20% are very confident of growing their business over the next three years.
The survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that over the next year, almost 30% of respondents plan to target growth through increased market share and exporting to new geographic markets.
Almost half said their biggest growth opportunity in the short term was to develop new products and services.
Randal Casson, partner with PwC in West Yorkshire, 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.”
He said: “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.”
Some 21% of respondents said access to talented people would be a challenging area.
However, nearly half were expecting to see growth in the contingent workforce rather than full time staff.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents expect some change to company strategy and the approach to managing risk, with more than half also expecting to see some change to their organisational structure.
While longer term confidence for growth is evident, there are still concerns that the risks may be overlooked, said Mr Casson.
“An established risk management agenda is critical to address risks arising from a change of strategy, such as growth in new markets or new product or service development,” he said.
And he added: “As the short term outlook for 2012 is particularly uncertain, businesses will need to look for growth opportunities and this was evident in the results of the survey.
“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.”