Private Company Sentiment Index™ Rises, Indicating Increased Optimism
HORSHAM, PA, March 6, 2018 —Kreischer Miller, a leading independent accounting, tax, and business advisory firm serving the Greater Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley areas, today announced the results from its most recent Kreischer Miller Private Company Pulse Survey™, conducted via the firm’s Center for Private Company Excellence.
The survey found that privately-held and family-owned companies feel their business prospects are improving and their level of optimism has steadily risen over the last 18 months. Participants were asked to describe the current outlook for their businesses, which formed the basis for the survey’s Private Company Sentiment Index™. The Index currently stands at 7.79, versus 7.22 in July 2017, 7.06 in January 2017, and 6.28 in July 2016. That equates to a 24 percent improvement in the outlook in just 18 months.
Respondents also expect their pace of sales growth to accelerate. In the July 2017 survey, just over half (53.1%) of respondents anticipated a growth rate between zero and five percent. This time, that number dropped to 37.7 percent, while the percentage of respondents who anticipate growth greater than five percent increased from 45.7 percent to 60.7 percent.
In addition to their positive business outlook, another key survey takeaway was respondents’ growing level of optimism about the U.S. economy’s performance. Ninety-two percent of respondents said they are optimistic about the economy’s performance over the next 12 months, compared to 80 percent six months ago.
Tax reform has been a hot topic over the last few months, and we asked participants how they anticipate the new tax legislation will impact them as a business owner. More than two-thirds (67.8%) indicated some level of positivity, while nearly a third (32.3) were neutral or couldn’t tell. No respondents said it would impact them negatively.
However, all of this optimism was tempered by the continued challenge of finding qualified employees. When asked to cite their top business challenge, 45.2 percent of respondents indicated that access to talent was their largest issue. No other category came close. While access to talent was also the top vote getter in the last survey, it was cited by 35.8 percent of respondents at that time. That represents a 26 percent jump in just six months.
“We created the Kreischer Miller Private Company Pulse survey because we recognize just how critical private and family-owned companies are to the economy, job creation, and growth in our region. These companies truly represent the pulse of what is going on in our markets,” said Mario O. Vicari, Director and Center for Private Company Excellence specialist. “From the results of this survey, which was conducted in January, it seems clear that private companies are feeling very optimistic about their business prospects and the economy as a whole for 2018. However, the war for talent continues to be a significant challenge. It will be interesting to see how things evolve when we conduct our next survey in July.”
The Kreischer Miller Private Company Pulse survey was conducted online in January 2018. Survey questionnaires were distributed electronically to private company executives in the Greater Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley regions. There were 62 total participants representing privately-held companies of various sizes and in an array of industries. When asked their role in their business, 36.1 percent indicated they are an owner, 34.4 percent indicated they are a CFO/COO/Vice President, 21.3 percent are the President or equivalent, and 8.2 percent responded with other. See page 10 of the report for a more detailed breakdown of participant demographics.
Download a copy of the full survey results here.
About Kreischer Miller’s Center for Private Company Excellence
Established in 2012, Kreischer Miller’s Center for Private Company Excellence is a community – live and virtual – created exclusively for privately-held companies. The first of its kind, the Center for Private Company Excellence provides content, resources, tools, and information geared specifically toward the unique needs and issues of private companies, across the lifecycle of their organizations. It is also a forum for business owners and executives to interact and network with peers as they address the challenges they face in improving their businesses. Learn more.
About Kreischer Miller
Kreischer Miller is a leading independent accounting, tax, and advisory firm, serving the Greater Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley areas. Founded in 1975, the firm is built to respond to the unique needs of growth-oriented private companies, helping them smoothly transition through growth phases, business cycles, and ownership changes. Kreischer Miller offers a wide range of services, including Audit & Accounting, Tax Strategies, Business Advisory, Human Capital Resources, and Technology Solutions across an array of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, construction, real estate, not-for-profits, media, government contracting, professional services, family-owned businesses, and investment firms. The firm provides insight and creative services to organizations that need to be able to quickly adapt and respond to changing market opportunities and challenges. To learn more, call us at 215.441.4600 or contact us.