At the beginning of this year, Salto Partners conducted a survey among business leaders. Here are the key take-aways. In contrast to the previous two years companies are shifting their focus away from survival towards planning for growth in 2012 and beyond, citing revenue enhancement as their top priority. But there is a catch. Businesses are looking for smart (a.k.a. profitable) growth. As one survey participants put it, “We don’t throw the ball downfield hoping someone will catch it. We are running the ball for a few yards at a time. This year we are just happy that there is a game.”
Over 60% of the surveyed say that their company possess as much or more cash today as three years ago. A majority of the survey participants expressed ongoing concern about the threat of a sovereign-debt default in the euro zone. Similiarly, the majority of surveyed companies is still concerned about the possibility of a double-dip recession. Government inventions are seen helpful in the following areas:
1. increase investment incentives,
2. cutting taxes and
3. reducing regulatory burdens
A key take-away of the survey is that companies see themselves proceeding cautiously in the next 12 to 36 months. The still fairly high level of geopolitical uncertainty are resulting in the search for smart growth.
Here are some key priority areas for companies looking for growth:
1. investing in IT infrastructure and better processes
2. mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and,
3. entering new markets, notably new markets in the Asia-Pacific region
On the plus side, there is a shift in focus compared to 2009 and 2010. Businesses are beginning to cautiously looking for top-line growth. We will discuss more findings over the next few weeks.