Private Business Leaders Remain Positive: These're What they're Doing

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Private business leaders remain steadfast in their optimism about the year ahead, despite the disruptions that are rewriting business operations.

In its report “Global perspectives for private companies: Agility in changing markets”Deloitte said that despite market challenges, three-quarters of private business leaders express high or extremely high confidence in the success of their private company over the next 24 months.

In a survey of 2,550 private company leaders across 30 countries, Deloitte found that the majority of respondents anticipate growth in six of eight key business metrics in the next 12 months.

The strongest growth is predicted for revenue, productivity and profitswith companies in the Americas taking the lead in terms of expected increases, compared to counterparts in the Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions.

“Today’s economic environment is requiring businesses to adapt quickly and private companies are succeeding,” says Carl Allegretti, Global Deloitte Private Leader. “Being agile and having the ability to innovate is affording them growth opportunities and the ability to compete in today’s dynamic markets amid uncertainties.”

New business models and product development, raising productivity

While technology has driven efficiencies, it has also fostered uncertainties. To address these conditions, firms globally are not staying idle but considering (43%) and implementing (40%) new business models to navigate disruption, said Deloitte.

Companies are also looking for ways to improve growth.

Globally, the top two strategies for firms are increased productivity (29%) and new product/service development (24%), Deloitte pointed out, adding that these same two categories rank as the top competitive advantages.

Talent as the differentiator

According to the report, private business leaders also see their employees as the differentiator and are investing in them through the following initiatives:

  • 39% are devoting assets to training programs
  • 35% are increasing the number of full-time employees
  • 33% are investing in leadership development

In a bid to attract and retain employees, four in ten firms plan to re-imagine learning and development programs using experiential formats, develop strategies to build an inclusive workforce, and increase their focus on flexibility and well-being programs, Deloitte observed.

Other highlights of the survey results

  • 77% of survey respondents agree that culture is strategically important to the success of the business
  • 66% see social responsibility as a top or high priority for their organization. Organizations are focusing on corporate strategy as well as employee and customer branding to separate themselves farther from the competition
  • The top driver cited for M&A activity over the next 12 months is the opportunity to enter new global markets (39 %)
  • Many private business executives expect to conduct an aggressive merger and acquisition strategy, with 42% believing it is likely or very likely they will participate in an acquisition in that timeframe
  • While 24% of global respondents view trade barriers as a significant risk to growth, it is not at the expense of private business’ optimism
  • 15%of respondents cite entry into foreign markets as their company’s main growth strategy over the next 12 months