According to The Hartford’s 2014 Midsize Business Monitor, midsized businesses are well-positioned to be a driving force of the economy in 2015. A majority of midsized business owners are optimistic about the economy and plan to make key investments to drive growth for their companies.
The survey found that 66 percent of midsized business owners and C-level executives are optimistic that the national economy will strengthen in the next six months. These midsized businesses are likely to make investments in the following areas in 2015:
- Technology (88 percent)
- Operations (87 percent)
- Additional staff (74 percent)
A majority of midsize businesses are also looking at growth opportunities in 2015:
- 76 percent are likely to provide a new product or service offering.
- 70 percent are likely to expand into new customer segments.
- 61 percent are likely to expand into new geographies.
Eighty-five percent of businesses hired employees in the prior 12 months, and a majority of businesses (74 percent) plan to add staff in 2015. While 45 percent of businesses made all the hires they had wanted to in the prior 12 months, 40 percent said they hired fewer than desired. The most common reason cited by those respondents was a lack of qualified talent (61 percent).
Many midsized businesses are considering the use of new technologies including:
- 36 percent are looking at Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technologies;
- 35 percent are considering 3-D printing;
- 35 percent are thinking about using wearable technology;
- 13 percent are considering drones; and
- 12 percent are considering autonomous/driverless vehicles.