Accelerator Survey: A downturn in the air?

This latest poll of our accelerator advisory panel reveals that you entrepreneurs are a pretty fulfilled lot - the vast majority of you love running your own show and are committed for the long term. But there are some signs of trouble brewing: optimism is down nearly 10% on the previous quarter and the prospect of economic slowdown and even recession is rearing its ugly head.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Running the same business, but bigger, richer and more successful -
Working on another start-up - 17.1%
Relaxing on the beach, having sold out for a tidy sum - 14.4%
A salaried exec of the big corporate that bought your firm - 7.2%
Still searching for that elusive big break - 2.7%
What is your biggest business headache?
Finding new business - 37.3%
Late payers - 22.6%
Red tape - 17.7%
Under-performing staff - 12.8%
IT hassles - 9.8%
Optimism is on the wane, with only 54.7% saying they are much or a
little more optimistic for the next quarter than they were for the last.
That's down from 63% in our last survey.
If you could have your time again, would you still choose to run your
own business?
Definitely. I could never go back to working for someone else - 64.2%
Probably. Corporate life just isn't for me - 22%
Perhaps, but it's getting harder to make a living - 11.9%
No - 1.8%
What is your business doing to mitigate climate change?
We are doing things that don't cost much. Recycling, turning off lights
and computers, etc - 69.2%
We are making a real effort - green procurement, renewable energy and
materials, cutting back on travel - 18.3%
Nothing - 7.7%
We are going fully carbon-neutral as soon as we can - 4.8%
60% of respondents expect to hire between one and five new employees in
the next three months. But 26% expect to hire none.
Mobile working:
Improves efficiency and communications with customers, suppliers and
colleagues - 69.9%
Is an incentive that helps recruit and retain key staff - 18.6%
Offers no tangible benefits - 10.8%
I don't know what it is - 1%
55% of respondents think that employment law should make it either
slightly or much less difficult to fire unsuitable staff.
What are the most and least important professional advisers to your
Most important
Accountant - 62.1%
Least important
Management consultant - 47.6%

You're in charge - 81% are owner, chairman or MD.
You're small - 65% employ nine or fewer
45% of you are aged 44 or under
25% of you are female

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