As a CEO who advises companies on growth and scale, it is crucial to stay in tune with the pulse of the entrepreneurial community, especially amidst ever-evolving economic conditions. We recently conducted a comprehensive survey to gain valuable insights into the prevailing sentiment among entrepreneurs.
Here are the results of the Catapult Groups Entrepreneur Index for the fourth quarter of 2023, which sheds light on the perspectives and strategies of entrepreneurs as they navigate the current economic landscape.
The results reveal a mixed business climate, a refreshing view of entrepreneurial spirit, a change in hiring trends, operational efficiency, and the evolving financing landscape.
Entrepreneur Index Summary
Business climate mixed with 33% believing it is improving, 46% saying it will be about the same, and 21% believing it will decline - an improvement over the previous quarter, where 32% believed it will decline.
With that, it is always refreshing to view the entrepreneurial spirit: an overwhelming 92% of respondents think their business revenues will expand in the coming quarter. Small businesses believe that they will outperform the macro environment. I believe they individually have the opportunity to outperform the economy as a whole.
On the staffing front, some small businesses plan to force reductions - 42% plan to hire, and 50% plan to stay at the current headcount - 8% expect to downsize. This is in contrast to the expanding revenues. Is small business getting more efficient?
With expanding revenues, it is interesting that most small businesses expect greater efficiency, with 62.5% planning no capital investment. Again, does this speak to efficiency gains or filling excess capacity?
Financing and Capital
Financing has been challenging in our current environment. Banks have tightened, rates have increased, and small business is left to figure it out. Entrepreneurs always do - only 4% plan to use bank financing, 8% expect to use an alternative lender, and the balance, 88% of respondents will fund their business internally - from profits, I hope, perhaps from the efficiency gains questioned above.
About Catapult Groups:
Catapult Groups is a business consulting and executive coaching company that offers services aimed at helping entrepreneurs and business owners achieve growth and success.
We provide a platform where entrepreneurs can connect with experienced business leaders and participate in peer advisory groups to gain insights, strategies, and support for their business endeavors.
We’re focused on facilitating peer-to-peer learning and collaboration among entrepreneurs, allowing them to leverage their peers' collective knowledge and experiences to overcome challenges, make informed decisions, and accelerate their business growth.
My goal has always been to empower entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and guidance to scale their businesses and achieve their goals. It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. If you’re in Las Vegas, consider joining us.