Bredin Report: The SMB Outlook

Roughly two in three SMBs (66%) expect to grow this year versus 2022, and roughly half (48%) expect revenue increase of more than 10%. This new research, from Bredin’s SMB Pulse survey of 500 U.S. principals, reveals interesting variations when we look at businesses by company size, tenure and owner generation.

Very small businesses (VSBs, with fewer than 20 employees) are less hopeful than their larger peers. They are much more likely to expect revenues to be flat or down in 2023 than small (SBs, with 20 to 99 employees) or midsized businesses (MBs, with 100 to 500 employees).

Company age also impacts outlook. Companies that have been in business for 20 or more years are much more likely to expect revenues to decrease or remain the same in 2023 than younger companies.

Likewise, outlook varies by region. SMBs in the western U.S. are more pessimistic than those located elsewhere.

It’s a different story with Gen Z and Millennial SMB principals (i.e., ages 18 to 42), who are much more likely to expect double-digit growth this year than their older peers.

SMB Growth Outlook by Attribute

When asked about different aspects of their business, SMBs are most hopeful about their overall business confidence. On a scale of 1 (very pessimistic) to 100 (very optimistic), they range from 69 (VSBs) to 77 (SBs).

SBs and MBs are fairly optimistic about every aspect of their business, ranging from a low of 63 to a high of 77. VSBs, however, are somewhat pessimistic about expansion (46) and hiring (43).

SMB Optimism by Business Aspect

This data brings home how varied SMBs are by a wide range of attributes. Place a few questions in Bredin’s monthly SMB Pulse or let our experienced team design and execute a custom research project to uncover actionable insights to improve your targeting, and your go-to-market and product strategies.

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About Bredin

Bredin was founded in 1991 by America's foremost small business expert, author and syndicated columnist Alice Bredin. From its beginning, Bredin was designed to be a breed apart: 50% research consultancy, 50% creative agency, 100% focused on SMB. Based in Somerville, Mass., Bredin helps Fortune 500 companies understand, reach and retain SMB customers through timely, targeted research and award-winning marketing programs.