Small Companies are Picking it Up

Scott Francis
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We’ve commented before on the economy, and hiring, and jobs.  As a small business, these are topics very near and dear to our hearts.  I’ve been waiting for the optimism that we feel, and that I see in Austin, TX, to start showing up in statistics.  Finally, it seems it might be.  ADP’s latest report showed and increase of 217,000 jobs in February (the largest increase since November 2006!). Small companies accounted for all but 13,000 of this increase. We did our part – hiring 2 more seasoned BPM veterans in February.  We still see more opportunity out the front window than we do in the rear view mirror.  BPM in general is still growing.  The software platforms we know best have a lot of market momentum.  We’re bullish on 2011, and on the long-term prospects of business process management and our consulting practice. To put it in perspective, at some point this year, we’ll have a team 3x the size that we started with in 2010.  And we’re seeing other small businesses – often in service industries0 – picking up  hiring activity as well.  And the market for software developers in Austin has markedly improved.  Hopefully this is the beginning of a long, steady recovery. Think we’re the exception to the rule?  Check out the results of the Austin Technology Incubator’s survey of technology companies in Austin.  81% are increasing staff.  34% of all respondents are increasing staff by more than 10%.  Only 5% of respondents are decreasing staff.  Key findings:
  • 33% launched their company in the last five years. The median year founded was 2001.
  • Approximately half (55%) were headquartered in Austin.
  • 4 out of 5 were privately owned.
  • 37% earned more than $10M.
  • Software companies represented approximately a quarter of the respondents.
  • 21% employed more than 100 people. 45% employed between 1 and 10 people in the Austin area.
  • In 2010, 53% increased their headcount, 32% didn’t make any changes and 15% decreased their headcount
With spring already here, and SXSW starting tomorrow (unofficial events starting tonight), optimism is the word for the day in Austin.  

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