Daily News: March 10, 2015

SunTrust: Business Leaders Ready for Growth

Eighty-four percent of business owners and top decision makers in companies with annual revenue of $10 million to $150 million are seeking growth opportunities, according to the annual Business Pulse Survey sponsored by SunTrust Banks. In connection with a general feeling of optimism, 80 percent of business decision makers feel confident about their own business strength, which is a driving factor in plans for growth and expansion.

Business leaders plan to stimulate growth over the next five years by introducing new products and services (36%), making major capital investments (28%) and targeting new consumer and business sectors (28%). While most companies (59%) expect to grow organically, a significant number plan to expand through an acquisition merger (25%) or private equity funding (22%).

“Business leaders are eager to leverage the improving economy,” said Beau Cummins, commercial and business banking executive at SunTrust. “They view this as a time to grow and are making strategic investments, exploring avenues for expansion and examining other opportunities throughout the marketplace.”

Small businesses with annual revenue of $2 million to $10 million

mirrored the sentiments of the mid-market companies. Seventy-eight percent felt prepared for growth, and 74% were positive about the current strength of their own business. Thirty-one percent plan to introduce a new product or service.

Top actions to support growth cited by small businesses include a greater focus on business planning and strategy, automating business processes and investing in technology and facilities.

Both small and mid-market business leaders agree that their top challenges are evolving government regulations, changes in healthcare law, uncertainty in the economy and increasing material costs.

“As businesses move forward on their plans, it’s crucial that they have a financial partner who can support their evolving needs throughout the lifecycle of their company,” said Cummins. “Beyond basic financial services, this includes providing strategic advice, capital markets access, M&A advisory and wealth management to achieve smart growth.”

Decision makers representing approximately 500 small and mid-size businesses participated in the SunTrustRadius Global Market Research survey. Survey results have a maximum margin of error of +- 4 percentage points at 95% confidence level.