Economic headwinds for H2 decision making: Vistage report details how small business CEOs can respond to rising costs, trade conflicts, and talent shortages

SAN DIEGO, July 31, 2018 – Most chief executives anticipate that their revenue and profits will continue to increase in the next 12 months, according to Vistage, an executive growth and development organization. The Vistage CEO Confidence Index, which measured 104.1 in Q2 2018, is also close to its 10-year high.

However, new economic risks are cropping up that could slow the growth of the economy. A new report from Vistage, Decision factors for H2 2018: Economic considerations for SMB executives, describes these economic risks and offers recommendations to help CEOs manage them.

The report covers four factors affecting CEO decisions in the second half of 2018:

  • The rising cost of everything. Rising costs will force CEOs to raise prices. Massive government debt and growing deficits will drive more government borrowing, which will fuel the inflation furnace.
  • The talent war is reaching new levels. The talent crisis is already throttling business growth. Competition for talent is high, which means that retaining top talent should be a top priority.
  • Taxes, trade and tariffs. The new tax law, along with radical shifts in trade policy and tariffs, means that the legal and financial landscape is rapidly evolving. CEOs will need to consider the implications of continued highly unpredictable shifts on their businesses.
  • Cyberattacks. Cyber threats are a clear and present danger for every SMB. CEOs will need to protect their digital assets from hackers, who can compromise computers, highjack wire transfers, and steal customer, employee and financial data.

“Many signs point to continued growth. 78% of SMB CEOs in the Q2 2018 Vistage CEO Confidence Index survey said they expect higher revenues in the year ahead, while 62% said they expect greater profits. However, interest rates are starting to rise as wage pressure and material costs fuel inflation. Trade conflicts are also stoking fears of a recession,” said Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer at Vistage Worldwide.

“Every day, small and midsize business CEOs are faced with making decisions that impact their business and communities. How they choose to respond to major economic factors can have tremendous impact on their long-term success,” said Sam Reese, Chief Executive Officer at Vistage Worldwide. “At Vistage, we help SMB leaders navigate these turning points through peer advisory boards, one-to-one executive development, research and shared resources from a 45,000-member global network.”

Read the report, Decision factors for H2 2018: Economic considerations for SMB executives, to learn more about top decision factors and recommended actions for SMB CEOs in the second half of 2018.

About Vistage Worldwide, Inc.
Vistage is the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize businesses. For more than 65 years, we’ve been helping CEOs, business owners and key executives solve their greatest challenges through confidential peer groups and one-to-one executive coaching sessions. Today, more than 45,000 members in 35 countries rely on Vistage to help make better decisions for their companies, families and communities. The results prove it: Vistage CEO members grew their annual revenue on average by 4.6% in 2020, while nonmembers with comparable small and midsize businesses saw revenue decrease by 4.7%, according to a study of Dun & Bradstreet data. Learn more at

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