Small business CEOs remain optimistic despite mounting challenges

New research reveals 70% of CEOs expect sales to increase in the next year

Small business CEOs in the UK are largely optimistic about business growth, with 70% expecting sales revenue to increase and over half expecting to recruit new staff in the coming year, a new study has claimed.

The CEO Confidence Index, published by chief executive peer group Vistage International, surveyed 350 CEOs from SMEs based in the UK and Ireland about their views on growth and performance over the coming 12 months. The study also found that 53% of those surveyed expected profits to improve in the next year. However, many CEOs still expressed concerns about the current economic situation, with over a third of those surveyed expressing the view that economic conditions have worsened over the past year, and a quarter of business leaders predicting that the situation will continue to decline next year. Results also varied significantly by sector – 71% of those in the engineering industry expected an increase in sale revenues, compared to only 25% in the education sector. Chief executive of Vistage, Steve Gilroy, said of the study: “It’s encouraging to see SMEs expressing optimism regarding business growth, but there are causes for concern. The last few years have created a new business landscape that is volatile and unpredictable. Key to success is fresh business thinking and collaboration. SMEs must share ideas and take bold actions in order to survive and succeed.”


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