SME exporters will use tech to remain competitive post-Brexit, study suggests

Lamont Pridmore - Accountants

A new study carried out by marketing agency Croud suggests that UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that trade internationally are determined to overcome the challenges and uncertainties posed by Brexit by using the latest technology to gain a ‘competitive advantage’.

According to the research, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of SME exporters feel that Brexit is one of the biggest challenges they face in the years ahead.

Furthermore, only one in four (25 per cent) are confident that Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU) will improve their overseas trade opportunities with non-EU countries.

However, despite these concerns, most SMEs are still anticipating strong growth over the next five years – and are determined to overcome Brexit-related challenges and uncertainties, the report reveals.

It adds that data and tech-focused companies, in particular, currently rank among the most confident UK businesses.

In fact, businesses that use strategic data as part of their day-to-day activities told Croud that they are anticipating a 20 per cent increase in growth each year for the next five years, while more than three quarters (78 per cent) of all SMEs quizzed added that they felt embracing technology would be key to helping them gain a ‘competitive advantage’ post-Brexit.

Commenting on the findings, one of the study’s authors, said: “SMEs are the backbone of British enterprise and 2018 is a year of unprecedented change, with new technology accelerating, GDPR coming into force, and Brexit on the horizon.

“While most agreed that Brexit and regulatory changes present challenges, data presents an opportunity for SMEs to realise further growth,” he said.

“For example, 81 per cent of SMEs are embracing data-driven marketing to execute campaigns at a global scale to drive serious ROI.

“It was no surprise that the most forward-thinking companies from a technology point of view are also the most optimistic about their futures.”