Growth and hiring are on business owners' minds, with some sectors defying the slow economy.
As you plan for 2012, take the temperature of your own industry as well as that of your clients. In light of an economy that's flirting with a "double dip" recession, it may also be wise to consider expanding your prospect list to include companies in industries that appear to still be positioned for growth.
For example, one surprising source of relatively good news has been manufacturing, which was hit hard by the recession, but seems to be rebounding. The sector saw a modest 2 percent job growth rate over the 12 months through August 2011. Construction, on the other hand, which also took a dramatic hit, saw virtually no change over the same period.
Then there are the wildcards. The economic proposals outlined by President Obama in September place an emphasis on infrastructure, which could offer a boost to the construction industries. And while the financial services sector had been showing signs of health earlier in 2011, recent layoff announcements by some of the nation's largest banks indicate that growth may be farther off than originally expected.
What Women Say In June 2011, one out of two U.S. women business owners expected their sales to increase by the end of the year, although most had no plans to hire full-time employees, according to the PNC Women Business Owners Economic Outlook survey.
Six out of 10 women owners reported that their companies were currently meeting or exceeding expectations although they expressed reluctance to take on long-term financing or make capital investments through the remainder of 2011. Still, women owners have high aspirations for growth. Eight out of 10 hope to grow their businesses at least a moderate amount.
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