Research reveals that SMBs are cautiously optimistic, despite the economic downturn

06 December 2022

Press release

NEW YORK, USA, 6 December 2022 | Analysys Mason, a world-leading management consultancy focused on telecoms, media and technology (TMT), has released research that paints a hopeful economic outlook for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the USA. US SMBs remain largely positive about their prospects, despite the economic slowdown and high inflation, and expect their 2022 revenue to be higher than that in the previous year. They are also planning to expand their businesses in 2023 by increasing their customer bases and market share of revenue.

73% of SMBs expect their revenue to increase in 2022, and 80% plan to hire new full-time employees. SMBs’ positive outlook for their own performance contrasts sharply with their views on the wider economy; only 50% of the SMBs surveyed were optimistic about the economic situation. The top concern of those that feel pessimistic is inflation (85% of respondents), followed by supply-chain issues (7% of respondents).

These findings are reported in Analysys Mason’s SMB Barometer. The Barometer is a first-of-its-kind tool that provides an overview of the state of the SMB ecosystem. It is geared towards vendors and telecoms operators that sell to SMBs and can help readers to determine how they can refine their SMB sales strategies. Three key measures underpin the Barometer: SMBs’ IT investment, business performance and macroeconomic perceptions. These measures are synthesised to create the Barometer score.

The key findings of the initial SMB Barometer include the following.

  • The score of 64.5 suggests that SMBs are at the tipping point between ‘strategic re-alignment’ and ‘business as usual’. SMBs are uncertain about the future due to current economic conditions and changing business environments.
  • IT investment is anticipated to increase. SMBs’ spending is expected to increase, but the rate of growth will slow down in the next 6 months.
  • Business performance is strong. SMBs are expected to continue to invest in recruitment.
  • The macroeconomic outlook is split. SMBs feel optimistic about their own businesses, but only 50% are positive about the wider economy. Over 80% cited inflation as the key issue for their pessimistic view.

“SMBs are at a crossroads. Many feel positive about their own company’s prospects and are planning to invest more in their business by increasing their IT spending, for example, but they feel less optimistic about the macroeconomic environment,” said Bob Takacs, Research Director and SMB practice leader at Analysys Mason. “This means that we’ll see their spending growth slow down throughout 2023 in line with caution about the economy. The message to IT and technology vendors and operators is that it’s business as usual for now, but they need to pay attention to the Barometer because it provides insights into the direction that SMBs will take and offers vendors guidance on how to focus, and in some cases, re-align their SMB strategies.”

The SMB ecosystem is affected by challenges including economic headwinds, geopolitical uncertainties and supply chain problems. These factors influence SMBs’ purchasing power, willingness to spend, attitudes and technology buying behaviours, thereby ultimately affecting the state of the SMB ecosystem. The Barometer captures all these drivers and inhibitors into a single indexed score, which gives vendors more insight into SMB buying behaviours and opportunities.

The findings and imperatives for vendors and operators can be found in Analysys Mason’s SMB Barometer 2022.

About the Analysys Mason SMB Barometer

The Barometer will be delivered twice a year. It is underpinned by surveying approximately 300 SMBs across the USA using 30-minute online interviews. Additional insights will be drawn from expert analysts and other proprietary SMB research assets.

A proprietary model was created that quantifies the responses to questions related to factors such as expected revenue, hiring plans, expansion plans, average IT budget, IT budget changes, IT management, company prospects and economic outlook by benchmarking against industry standards and acceptable norms.

For more information, visit the Analysys Mason SMB Barometer.

About Analysys Mason (

Analysys Mason is the world’s leading management consultancy focused on TMT, a critical enabler of economic, environmental and social transformation.

We bring together unparalleled commercial and technical understanding to deliver bespoke consultancy on strategy, transaction support, transformation, regulation and policy, further strengthened by globally respected research.

Our clients value our advice which combines deep domain knowledge with global reach and local insight into markets to help them achieve meaningful business results.

We are committed to our clients, employees and communities – contributing to a world where technology delivers for all.

Media contact: David McElroy, Press Office, Analysys Mason, Tel: +44 20 7395 9000, Email: