Over a half of the region’s firms (57%) said they are confident they would have greater success in the coming 12 months, compared to the past year.
A quarter (26%) were not confident about being more successful in 2023 and one in seven (14%) expected their business to perform at the same level in the next year.
The research was carried out between December 1 and December 14 as part of additional polling for the monthly Lloyds Bank Business Barometer.
Businesses in the South East projected a more upbeat outlook for 2023, with more than half (53%) expecting a higher turnover than in 2022.
One in five firms (19%) expect turnover to increase by between 5% and 19%, and a sixth (16%) anticipate turnover to increase by more than 20%.
When South East businesses were asked what they would do to fuel growth, 86% said they were planning an investment drive.
Businesses reported that funding would be used to develop their company (53%), expand into new markets (31%), and increase wages for employees (30%).
Alongside investment, businesses plan on making several New Year’s resolutions. These include growing revenue from their existing customer base (41%), followed by keeping an eye on costs (37%).
A third (34%) of firms said they’re planning to improve productivity, while 11% will invest in paying bonuses and short-term incentives. Almost a third (30%) are intending to win new business in existing markets.
Paul Evans, regional director for the South East at Lloyds Bank, said: “It’s pleasing to see many South East businesses in optimistic mood as we approach 2023.
“Firms clearly see growth among their existing client base as well as in new markets as achievable goals for 2023.
“The next year, of course, won’t be without its challenges, and businesses should be aware of the support on offer to maintain healthy cashflow and ensure they’re well placed to capitalise on any growth opportunities that come their way.
“We’ll continue to be by their side to offer this support and help South East businesses progress in 2023 on more stable footing.”