SOURCE: The Business Press

May 01, 2007 14:18 ET

CEOs Offer Insights About Inland Empire's Business Climate

SAN BERNARDINO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 1, 2007 -- Top executives at Inland Empire companies large and small are optimistic about business conditions in the region, according to the first quarterly Business Press CEO Insights Study. Inland Empire CEOs ranked cost control and profitability as a key business challenge, followed by managing health care costs and accounts receivables, according to survey results.

Inland CEOs were polled during the first quarter of 2007 about business conditions, growth factors and the credibility of marketing within their organizations. CEOs from professional service, industrial and manufacturing firms participated; a majority spearheaded firms with fewer than 100 employees.

When asked about anticipated business conditions, over half (58%) of CEOs believed business conditions would be better than the prior three-month quarter. An additional one-third of respondents believed conditions would remain the same, while 8% believed conditions would worsen. Smaller firms tended to be more optimistic than their larger counterparts, with 58% indicating conditions would improve versus 27% of larger firms.

The survey conducted quarterly by Wilkin Guge Marketing for The Business Press adds to the business intelligence vital to the region's growing number of corporate offices and locally-based professionals. "In the information economy, executives need current, locally targeted information to help them grow their businesses," said Bob Dixon, editor of The Business Press. "The CEO Insights Study fills in one more piece of the puzzle."

"This project represents an exciting opportunity to interact with those individuals tasked with leading Inland Empire companies to success," said Greg Timpany, research director of Wilkin Guge Marketing, who oversaw the initiative. "We are asking questions not only about their perceptions of local business conditions, but about key factors related to the success of their companies. This will allow us to tie the results back to previously collected benchmark data."

There was high level of agreement among responding CEOs that the climate for business expansion is positive at city and county levels. More than half agreed positively that efforts by their city were leading to business expansion, compared with 13% who held a negative opinion. Just over 58% felt the counties where their businesses are based are doing a positive job at promoting business expansion.

More than 80% of respondents said marketing will take a greater role in the future of their business. Over half of participants (54%) rated their marketing team as either well-regarded and respected or highly influential and strategic. This percentage was lower than the 75% rating provided by respondents to Inland Empire Marketing Best Practices conducted by Wilkin Guge Marketing for The Business Press.

Wilkin Guge Marketing conducts the quarterly CEO Insights Study with support from The Press-Enterprise and The Business Press. For more information about the study, please contact Wilkin Guge Marketing at (909) 625-2225 or visit it online at www.wilkinguge.com.

About Wilkin Guge Marketing's Research Department

Wilkin Guge Marketing is an integrated strategic marketing and research firm that conducts vital business studies of interest to the Inland Southern California region including the Glencrest Inland Empire Wealth Study, the Inland Empire Freight Index, the Inland Empire Consumer Index and the Inland Empire Business Leadership Survey. Based in Claremont, Calif., the award-winning agency is owned by Gail Guge, brand strategist, and Andrew Wilkin, creative brand strategist.

About The Business Press

The Business Press, a San Bernardino, Calif.-based subsidiary of The Press-Enterprise Co., is the largest business journal covering Inland Southern California. Now in its 12th year, The Business Press chronicles new business developments, profiles newsmakers and keeps tabs on the booming Inland Southern California economy. For more information, visit http://www.thebizpress.com.

Contact Information

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    Phone: (909) 390-1239
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