Owners of medium-sized businesses (MSBOs) are in an optimistic mood -- and many are planning to spend money, according to the Bank of America Mid-Sized Business Owner Report, an inaugural study conducted by Ipsos.
Of those polled, 75% expect their revenue to increase and 71% are planning to hire over the next 12 months, according to the inaugural.
In addition, 90% have adopted digital strategies over the past 12 months. This is helping them save time (48%) and to increase customer satisfaction (43%), manage cash flow (43%), stay organized (41%) and reach new customers (37%).
In addition, 71% say the marketing of their business is now done primarily online or through digital-first channels, and 76% anticipate that all their transactions will eventually be digital. Moreover, 87% of the digitized group plan to expand their use of automation and artificial intelligence. They want it to help them stand out from their competitors (45%), assist with hiring (45%), and streamline payroll and bookkeeping (43%).
On the financial side, 90% of MSBOs plan to obtain funding to finance their businesses over the next 12 months. This will be through business credit cards (43%), traditional bank loans (38%), personal savings (27%), personal credit cards (25%), and venture capital funding (21%).
At the same time, macro-economic issues are driving companies to make operational changes like raising prices (45%), re-evaluating cash flow and spending (37%), increasing employee wages (35%), and reducing business costs (33%).
MSBOs suffering from labor shortages are raising wages (41%), reducing the products/services offered (37%), and working more hours (33%).
“The strength of mid-sized businesses is essential to the health of the U.S. economy,” says Raul Anaya, president of Business Banking at Bank of America.
Anaya, “Preparation, optimism, and flexibility are traits of successful leaders in this environment, with investments in the workforce and digital transformation topping their current list of priorities to remain resilient and position their businesses for growth.”