QuOTE Findings: 2016 Q2

Quarterly Outlook of Triangle Entrepreneurs (QuOTE) finds somewhat lower levels of optimism.

Published Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Quarterly Outlook of Triangle Entrepreneurs (QuOTE) survey for Q2 2016, conducted by the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic, finds entrepreneurs are viewing the next six months somewhat less optimistically than they did in the first quarter of this year.

Among the entrepreneurs participating in this survey, a lower percentage 82.4% (vs. 88.2% in Q1 2016) report that they anticipate the next six months may bring increases in sales. Similarly, in terms of capital spending, a lower percentage, 45.7% (vs. 46.3%) anticipate increases, and for employment growth, 56.1% (vs. 61.2%) anticipate increases.

These data suggest that optimism in terms of sales and employment growth are down. On the other hand, we see less of a decrease in optimism regarding capital spending.

The outlook index decreased to 103.80 (from 110.77 in Q1). “That level of outlook index takes us back to where we were at the beginning of Q1. It will be interesting to see what the Q3 shows us.” says Lewis Sheats, senior lecturer of entrepreneurship in the NC State Poole College of Management and the director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic. “This might reflect the complexity of the political landscape at the local and national levels. Firms may be down on sales and employment growth, but still willing to invest in the venture and plan for possible future growth. It will take more data, from future quarters to bear this out—perhaps it will take until the election is over before we get closure here.”

The Entrepreneurship Clinic and the Poole College jointly conduct the quarterly survey, which helps entrepreneurial companies in the Triangle anticipate business decisions and plan for growth. Jeff Pollack, an assistant professor in the Poole College of Management, adapted the survey, and analyzed the data, based on the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of American companies that conducts a similar survey nationally with large companies.

The following survey results, from the second quarter of 2016 show projections for the next six months for sales, spending and employment:

Entrepreneurs Projections Q2 2016

The results also provide an overall entrepreneurs’ economic outlook index, which is based on businesses’ projected six-month sales, capital spending and employment figures. Over time, trends in this index can be viewed as indicating general optimism or pessimism about entrepreneurship in the Triangle.

Entrepreneurs' Economic Outlook Index - Q2 2016

A full report on the findings is available online at the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic.

The NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic and the Poole College of Management plan to expand the survey. Triangle entrepreneurs who would like to participate should email their name, business, and email address to TheEClinic@ncsu.edu. Participation is free, and responses are confidential.