Here are the results to the questions in the last blog. Compare your answers to over 1,000 business leaders. (source: Focus Index Report Q1 2011)
1. Businesses are optimistic about the future. TRUE. In fact, they believe business will be stronger compared with today.
2. Manufacturing is the industry segment with the lowest average business strength. FALSE. Real estate and construction lag the rest. Manufacturing is in fact one of the stronger segments.
3. Sales are up compared to this time last year. TRUE. However, not as many companies are reporting increases as did a quarter ago.
4. Businesses are not increasing headcount. FALSE. About 40% of businesses are increasing headcount, continuing the trend to hire more than fire.
5. Small business faces the biggest challenges from competition. FALSE. Larger companies report a higher rate of competition by a fair margin.
6. The single biggest challenge facing business is weak demand/sales. FALSE. While demand/sales was a close second, economic uncertainty was listed as the larger challenge.
7. The issue of least concern is high internal costs. TRUE. In my opinion that is surprising but apparently most companies feel it is under control.
8. Small business is more pessimistic about the effect of government regulation. TRUE. The uncertainty of impact is a larger concerm to small businesses as the potential negative impact is expected to be greater.
9. Businesses are most likely to invest in new product development over other departments. FALSE. While it is an area of investment, sales is the area recieving the greatest investment (Time for a strategic plan?)
10. The first department to be cut, if necessary, is marketing. FALSE. Human Resources/Benefits is the first cut and marketing is 4th after HR, Operations and New Products. 3% claim they cut costs equally.
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