Industry sees optimism and rising investment

NEWS Design consultancies are mirroring the increasing optimism shown by the UK’s small-business sector, says Design Business Association chairman Jonathan Sands.

NEWS

Design consultancies are mirroring the increasing optimism shown by the UK’s small-business sector, says Design Business Association chairman Jonathan Sands.

Sands, managing director at Yorkshire group Elmwood, says anecdotal evidence gleaned from fellow DBA consultancies suggests most are “very busy”.

His views tie in with a survey of small and medium-sized companies by venture capital firm 3i. This sector, into which all design consultancies fall, is exhibiting highest levels of investment.

Sands says increased demand for the DBA’s own courses suggests design consultancies are also investing more.

Elmwood is having its best ever year, says Sands, with annual growth expected to be 40 per cent both this year and next year. He says: “Most of the big consultancies, if not all, are saying they are very, very busy. I haven’t come across one which says it is quiet. All the signs around show things are on the up.

“But design consultancies must be aware of the dangers of being too cocky. They mustn’t fool themselves that things are ever going to be like they were. It still pays to be paranoid about where your next buck is coming from.”

The 3i research compares the UK’s small business sector to its European neighbours and the

latest study found the UK and Spain to be alone in their optimism. Similar companies in

Germany, France and Italy are all concerned about their future turnover and profitability.

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