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Haines Watts Newcastle Phone icon 0191 2699 960

A third (32%) of North East business owners want to change the way their industry does things, according to a study by chartered accountants, Haines Watts.

The national accountancy firm behind the survey has offices in Newcastle and Darlington, and has over 80 years of experience, specialising in the owner-managed business sector.

The organisation found that not only did North East company owners want wider industry change but they also had their sights firmly set on business growth, with 30% of business owners setting growth targets of 21-30%. These targets are more ambitious than other regions for instance when compared with Yorkshire (18%), North West (24%) and South West (19%).

Donna Bulmer, Managing Partner at Haines Watts, said: “It’s great to see that North East business owners in the region are keen to drive change and grow their businesses. These findings are very positive for the North East and demonstrate the innovation and ambition which can be found here.

“This research shows that our regional businesses are keen to make their own success, supporting their both their employees and the local economy. It’s refreshing to see the resilience and commitment of business owners in the region working to boost both business and economic growth.”

Nationally, only 28% of businesses expect their company to do more work overseas in the future. However, owners in the North East are the most inclined to do more overseas business. As part of growth targets and the drive for change, 41% of North East business owners surveyed want to do more work overseas to develop the international reach and activity of their businesses.

Bulmer adds: “Far from being deterred by recent uncertainty in the political and economic climate, company owners in the North East are staying highly motivated in growing their businesses within the region and much further afield.

“With two fifths (41%) of business owners enthusiastic about increasing the level of work they do internationally, it shows the optimistic and industrious spirit of the region and its hard-working business owners.

“The survey results correlate with the attitude and drive of the owner-managed businesses we work with and support on a daily business. It shows a really optimistic approach to business from the region and a passion for change.”

The firm’s Love or Money survey is based on companies with a turnover between £1 million and £50 million. These findings represent the second part of a three-part series of studies aimed at exploring the purpose and motivations for running a North East business, whilst allowing business owners to benchmark themselves against others.

To find out more about the Love or Money survey, visit:




About the study

The study is based on interviews with 514 owners of UK businesses, which are at least two years old, have a turnover of between £1 million and £50 million and have between 10 and 249 employees. The study was conducted in 2016.

Companies operate in the following sectors: construction; real estate; manufacturing; professional, scientific and technical; service industries; hospitality and leisure; wholesale and retail; technology; transport and storage; and creative industries.

*We also conducted psychological research based on the principle of implicit testing with 100 business owners of the same turnover, employee number and age criteria.

Through this research, respondents are tested not just on the views they express, but on their non-conscious reactions to statements they are presented with. By measuring reaction times and their interactions with each statement, the research determines their instinctive feelings, rather than simply the impression they wish to convey or their conscious bias. These results are presented as a score between 1 and 100, where 1-44 denotes disagreement, and 56-100 denotes agreement (45-55 denotes neither strong enough agreement nor disagreement to yield a clear result). This is based on the answers given, as well as the manner in which they were given.

To access a full report, blogs and data visualisations, please visit:

About Haines Watts

Haines Watts is a Top 12 firm of chartered accountants with over 80 years of experience, specialising in the owner-managed business sector. It offers a broad range of services with more than 60 offices across the UK and more than 35,000 business owner clients.

For more information please visit:


Want to know more? Call us on 0191 2699 960 or email

About the author

Calvin Judd

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