Midsize Business Optimistic

SMB_Monitor_2014Midsize business owners (and their c-level execs) are optimistic and have put dollars into their 2015 budgets to invest in:

  • Technology (85%)
  • Operations (87%)
  • New products (76%)
  • Expand market niche (70%)
  • Expand geo footprint (61%)

So says the study done by The Hartford, in September of this year, called the 2014 Midsize Business Monitor. 500 business owners and C-level executives of mid-sized businesses in the U.S. participated. The businesses who participated all have annual sales revenues between $10M and $1B. You can see more about the study here. (link)

When it comes to innovation (one of my interests within growing companies), it was interesting to see these statistics among the participant mid-market companies:

  • 53% use cloud computing
  • 53% use Internet (VoIP) phone services
  • 36% allow a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy
  • 24% use some type of big-data technologies
  • 35% are considering 3-D printing
  • 13% are considering drones
  • 12% are considering driverless vehicles

Hiring in Midsize Businesses Continues

When it comes to hiring, 74% plan to hire in 2015, although 61% of the respondents feel there is a shortage of qualified talent.

85% of these companies hired employees in 2014 with 40% of those who replied saying they hired fewer than desired this past year.

In early December it was reported that the United States was poised for the largest annual jobs gain since 1999.

Others are predicting a strong 2015 for business as well. The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) predicts the strongest GDP growth since 2005.

If those predictions are not enough, here are a couple more interesting ones for 2015:

Fortune Magazine predicts that wireless charging of your mobile devices will become a reality in 2015 - led by Starbucks creating 200 cordless charging spots in the Bay Area and manufacturer Intel making new charging products coming out next year. Does that mean the end of business travelers sitting on the floor at airports, hovering over scarce outlets (I hope so!)

Personally I am looking forward to a computer wrist watch – and Apple may deliver on that in 2015 as well. This ties into the great importance of mobile in business in 2015 and beyond – a topic we’ll be discussing in depth in upcoming articles, podcasts, and e-books.

What are your business predictions for mid-market in 2015? What would you like to see, even if it may not be do-able yet?

IBMThis post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I've been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.

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Topics: B2B

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