Expectations of Slower Economic Growth Ahead Buoyed by CEO Confidence
Only 30% of CEO respondents in the August WSJ/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey expect the economy to improve during the year ahead, down from 33% in July and from a peak of 48% in late 2014. Fewer small firms thought the economy had recently improved in the August 2015 survey than any other time since the government shutdown in late 2013.
The majority of all small firms in the August 2015 survey (57%) still anticipated no change in the pace of economic growth during the year ahead, with just 13% who expect worsening national economic conditions. While survey respondents expressed their doubts about overall near-term economic growth, they remain confident in their own business performance for the year ahead – as prospects for sales, profitability, hiring and capital investment all remain high.
To address the more distant future, we asked small business CEOs about succession planning. Turns out four-in-ten reported that they had already established a succession plan for their business. Half of those with succession plans, or 21% of all small firms, intend to transition their firm to a son, daughter or other family member. To dive in to the succession planning conversation a bit deeper, we dedicated a large portion of our Pulse of Small Business video series this month to how some of our Vistage Chairs in the New York area approach the topic of succession planning with their members. Let us know what you think, and if you have any succession planning ideas you wish to share, we’d love to hear them.
In the meantime, my best to you, your employees, and your families on this the Labor Day weekend. If you’re planning to travel – travel safe! See you all next week!