The majority (77%) of privately held companies predict business will improve over the next year, despite poor economic performance worldwide.
In fact, almost two-thirds of owners expect a growth rate of 4% or more, according to early results from PwC's Business Insights 2012 study on the ownership, performance and issues of over 400 Canadian private companies.
They're most concerned about lack of economic activity (32%), competition and discounting (31%), and labour shortages (25%). This is the first time the economy has been cited as a major obstacle since 2009.
But, they do expect business to improve due to additional sales (66%), more market share (50%) and strong company forecasts (49%). View an infographic of the results.
The majority of mid-size companies (80%)—those with less than 500 employees—say business will be better by 2013, while only 69% of large companies feeling the same way.
Smaller companies are the most optimistic, with over half saying their growth rate will be higher this year than in 2011.
The survey also finds companies that have been operating for less than 20 years are most in tune with nurturing innovation.
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In contrast, established companies are focused on reducing costs, since they don't expect to expand their client bases. More than half (54%) of companies over 50 years old are focused on cost containment, with 33% having issues finding new clients.
"While more established companies have more resources and experience, their levels of complexity [often] make them less willing to take the risks," says Tahir Ayub, PwC's Canadian private company services leader.
He adds, "Once a smaller company reaches around the $100 million revenue mark, an owner needs to start putting in the kind of infrastructure and tools that are going to help them and their management team take their business to the next level."
Originally published on Advisor.ca