Capstone’s Q2 2021 Middle Market Business Owners Research Survey Finds CEOs Optimistic for Future Economic & Revenue Growth
Capstone Partners released its Q2 2021 Middle Market Business Owners Survey Report, with insights from privately-owned companies across the U.S. This report combines Capstone’s in-depth middle market expertise with proprietary data obtained from 380 participating owners of privately held, middle market companies. Capstone surveyed middle market business owners across industries in the U.S. between July 13, 2021 and August 13, 2021. The full report, available for download below, evaluates the health and recovery of the middle market in Q2, with sections including 1). Current Business Challenges, 2). Strategies & Initiatives, and 3). Revenue Impacts, Forecasts, & Economic Outlook. The report also reveals data by industry, highlighting statistically significant variances across sectors.
Middle Market Companies Seek Further Recovery
Despite the rollout of vaccines and easing government restrictions, many middle market companies continued to be afflicted by COVID-exacerbated challenges in Q2 2021 including supply chain disruptions (32.1%), workforce shortages (28.7%), and economic uncertainties (12.9%). In fact, only 5.8% of middle market business owners reported not facing any issues in Q2, exemplifying the need for further recovery.
Supply Chain Disruptions Pose Key Threat
Business leaders across all industries were most significantly challenged by supply chain disruptions in Q2, apart from Technology, Media, & Telecom (TMT) providers who were the least impacted by supply chain disruptions (10.9%). Among those business owners that experienced disruptions in Q2, 80.3% noted that materials availability was the leading issue, followed by rising input prices (59.0%), port congestion (52.5%), and trucking bottlenecks (45.1%). With the ongoing pandemic, fundamental changes in consumer behavior, and shifting routes to market, business owners will be forced to adopt new methods to increase supply chain visibility. Although COVID-19 is a unique case study, it has underscored the fragility of current supply chains.
How Supply Chains are Disrupting Business Models
Nearly One-Fourth of Business Owners Planned to Engage In a Q3 Merger or Acquisition
Business owners reported that their top priority for Q3 would be to fortify growth strategies (59.5%), both organic and inorganic, to enter new markets, to expand offerings, and to bolster sales efforts. Driven by the normalization of earnings, the prospect of capital gains tax increases, and the accommodative borrowing environment, 23.5% of business owners plan to engage in acquisitions in Q3. As a result, Capstone expects a continuation of the robust merger and acquisition (M&A) activity witnessed in Q2, which increased 31% year-over-year, according to Capstone’s Q2 Capital Markets Update.
Growth Strategies Top Focus for Owners Looking Ahead
Business Owners Expect Conditions to Normalize Between Months and Two Years
Despite industry growth, economic confidence, and vaccination rollouts, middle market founders and entrepreneurs are not expecting an immediate normalization of the business environment. Notably, 21.8% of business owners expect conditions to normalize in seven to 12 months and 23.7% predict one to two years. The forecasts for returning to “normal” business conditions are heavily dependent on the industry and whether COVID-19 battered or accelerated demand for the products and services offered.
Return to “Normal” Expected in 1-2 Years
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