The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has claimed that there is a growing sense of optimism among medium-sized companies, but stressed the importance of getting day-to-day priorities in order.

A spokesman for the FPB suggested that it is becoming increasingly common for entrepreneurs to be distracted by the growing HR and regulatory burden, taking some of their focus away from expanding their business.

“These days, the amount of time that someone can spend just on compliance alone … means that they can take their eye off the ball and not prioritise what should be the main priority,” the representative explained.

However, a poll published by the group earlier this week revealed considerable unease about the recent hike in VAT, with 45 per cent of firms questioned predicting their turnover would fall as a result.

Last month, research from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills indicated that 58 per cent of participating companies expected turnover to increase in 2011, while 93 per cent said they had obtained sufficient credit from lenders.

Posted by Hayley Edwards