IPA SBRB Study: Transportation Companies In Gear for Healthy 2007 Start; Owners, Operators "Most" Optimistic About Business Prospects

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Forecast for higher revenues to be challenged by concerns about energy and fuel costs as well as health care expenses, taxes and costs for materials.

Small and medium-sized transportation companies are more optimistic than other industry segments with many owners and managers projecting double digit revenue growth over the next 12 months, according to the results of an International Profit Associates Small Business Research Board (IPA SBRB) survey released here today. http://www.ipasbrb.com

The IPA SBRB Transportation Industry Confidence Index was established at 45.7 for the first IPA SBRB transportation industry poll. By contrast, the aggregated IPA SBRB Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI) for all small and medium-size businesses participating in the survey was 42.7. The confidence index for other industries ranged included the manufacturing sector at 43.2, construction and contracting and 42.04 and the food service category at 38.8.

The IPA SBRB has been tracking the attitudes of small businesses since July 2004. In 2006, the IPA SBRB began issuing reports for specialized industries, the first two of which measured the attitudes of construction and contracting companies and manufacturing firms. This was the first time that the transportation and food service industries were individually studied. The key ingredients for determining the confidence index are attitudes about the direction of the economy, revenue predictions and hiring plans.

Additional industries will be added during 2007.

Optimism in the transportation sector was fueled by the 45.3% of the owners and managers who see the economy strengthening. That confidence is supported by more than 62% of the respondents that they believe their revenue will increase. The report showed that 26.3% believe their business will grow by up to 10% and another 35.8% that are expecting revenues to grow by more than 10%.

Slightly more than 26% of the respondents believe their revenue will remain the same for much of 2007 while 11.6% are projecting lower revenues.

Transportation companies are expressing mixed attitudes about hiring. The report indicated that 47% will try to sustain the current workforce level, with about 30% looking to increase hiring, 10% planning for a decrease and 13% not sure during the same timeframe.

The cost of energy and fuel was the leading concern of business owners in the transportation segment. Health care expense was the second leading concern. Among other major concerns were taxes and costs for materials which tied for third and then government regulation.

Like nearly every other segment, increased revenues are the priority for 2007, followed by plans to decrease expenses. Improvements in productivity and facilities were the next two priorities.

"While it appears that the transportation industry is recovering, vigilance must be maintained over all key operating matrices," said Gregg Steinberg, President of International Profit Associates, the largest privately-held provider of management consulting and professional services to small and medium-size businesses in North America.

"Companies that most closely scrutinize their operations and diligently manage their daily cost control will be in the best position to reap the greatest rewards if perceptions about growth do indeed become a reality," said Steinberg.

The International Profit Associates Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports the opinions of small business owners and managers on a wide variety of topics related to their own businesses as well as national and international issues that may impact their operations.

Participants in the poll provide feedback on significant issues and allow for real-time insight into the state of small businesses nationwide. The universe of participants is developed from among small businesses across the United States. More than 550 small business owners and senior managers participated in this IPA SBRB poll. The IPA SBRB study is a voluntary survey conducted via phone and email. The poll was structured and supervised through an independent resource.

The latest information about the IPA Small Business Research Board can be found at http://www.ipasbrb.com. Comprehensive details about the study can be found at http://www.ipasbrb.com or at http://www.biznus.net.

International Profit Associates, Inc. (IPA) is the largest privately-held provider of management consulting services to small and medium-size businesses in North America.    IPA and its more than 1,800 professionals offer a wide range of proven and innovative methodologies to help businesses grow and prosper regardless of the economic cycle. IPA either provides directly or through its affiliated companies a comprehensive array of business advisory services, tax and estate planning services or merger, acquisition and other financial advisory services in the United States and Canada. More information about IPA can be found at http://www.ipa-iba.com.

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Raymond Minkus
IPA SBRB
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