LBMC 2021 Business Trends Report Outlines Insights from C-Level Executives from Seven Industries Across the Nation

Feb 19, 2021

Report also reveals high growth firms’ key priorities, opportunities, challenges, and strategies


Nashville, Tenn.  - LBMC, a top 50 public accounting firm and the largest Tennessee-based professional services and business consulting firm, is pleased to present the fourth annual national Business Outlook Report. The report offers insight into business trends, challenges, and levels of optimism across seven major industries in the U.S.


The report was based on results from the national Business Outlook Survey, where more than 500 business leaders, mostly in C-level positions, reviewed business activity over the past year and provided insight into the business landscape over the next 12 months. More than half of the participants represent companies with $15 million plus in revenue and at least 50 employees. For the first time, this year’s report also surveyed high growth companies – businesses with a growth rate of at least 20%.


“As companies adapted to the new normal over the last year, many brought in skills, talents and processes they did not have prior to the pandemic. What are they focused on in the coming year? This report outlines top priorities for business leaders in 2021 and beyond,” said Suzanne Reed, MBA, Chief Marketing Officer, LBMC.


Download your copy of the Business Outlook Report here.


2021 Business Outlook Report – Key Takeaways

The COVID-19 pandemic was by far the most significant challenge of 2020, affecting all industries and nearly three out of four businesses surveyed. While the election was a concern for more than 40% of respondents, nearly 60% of those surveyed were neutral or positive about the election. While optimism about the economy is low, many businesses believe their revenue will grow this year. For more than half of businesses, acquiring and retaining talent was a top priority.


Report highlights


Top priorities:

  • Growing sales
  • Improving financial performance
  • Increasing business value
  • Retaining and finding great talent
  • Improving information management


Top business challenges:

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Domestic economic conditions
  • Employee and benefits costs
  • Regulatory requirements/changes
  • Developing new products/services/markets
  • Staff turnover/availability of top personnel


Who participated in the survey?

  • More than 500 business leaders, mostly in the C-Suite
  • Seven major industries, including healthcare, manufacturing & distribution, construction & real estate, technology, nonprofit & education, professional services, retail & entertainment/hospitality
  • Companies across the U.S., all sizes
  • High growth, average growth and no growth companies


“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that there will always be factors outside our control that will impact your business. If you are doing the right things, you will be better equipped to weather the storm when curveballs are thrown at you. One of the silver linings of 2020 is that it resulted in positive changes that may not have taken place otherwise - particularly around technology and innovation. If you have the right infrastructure in place to take care of your team members and clients, the rest will fall into place,” said Jeff Drummonds, CEO, LBMC.


About LBMC

LBMC is a Forbes Top Recommended Firm, one of the Southeast’s largest accounting and business consulting firms and a top 50 firm in the nation serving approximately 10,000 clients with diverse needs across a spectrum of industries. The LBMC Family of Companies has more than 700 employees, with offices in Chattanooga, Nashville (Brentwood), and Knoxville, TN, and Charlotte, NC. Founded in 1984 as a traditional accounting firm, LBMC has expanded its focus to meet a broad range of advisory and business consulting needs for its diverse client base. Today, we've become industry leaders in financial, human resources, technology, information security, and wealth advisory services for businesses and individuals. For more information, visit




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