Inc. magazine recently conducted a survey of its Inc. 5000 growth companies to gauge the outlook of CEOs on the year ahead. The source found most executives feel optimistic , despite the variety of challenges 2013 has brought and 2014 may bring again. The

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"They always seem to be upbeat in the face of adversity," according to Inc. "Unlike many in the business community, they feel they can grow in good times and bad."

The survey revealed several concerns, though the companies do feel growth is possible in the coming year.

According to the survey results, Inc. 5000 CEOs cite political wrangling, operational changes from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and low consumer confidence as challenges they will need to overcome to achieve success in the new year. However, the CEOs Inc. surveyed were overwhelmingly in favor of expansion within their own companies, with 80 percent planning to increase their headcount in the near future, and to roll out new products and service.

Interestingly, the National Federation of Independent Business reported recently that 62 percent of CEOs say now is not a good time for expansion. This is in strong contrast to the results Inc. obtained in its survey. The difference may be between established and new businesses, and the difference in attitudes between entrepreneurs and CEOs of large firms.

How to keep spirits high

There are always opportunities for growth, no matter what the economy looks like. This is one of the reasons startups have been able to achieve success even in the midst of the recession and the problems in Washington in the past few years. Entrepreneurs who can solve a problem and find a market for the solution can do well. When a founder believes he or she can become a success, it is important he or she secures advice and mentorship to determine whether the idea may have a good chance of success.

Another way to leverage optimism into success is to make concrete business plans. This may include investigating possibilities for startup financing, the market for the product or service and determining what the company's personnel needs are likely to be. An established company can also take time to develop a business plan for the coming year.

News Source : Inc. magazine recently conducted a survey of its Inc. 5000 growth companies to gauge the outlook of CEOs on the year ahead. The source found most executives feel optimistic , despite the variety of challenges 2013 has brought and 2014 may bring again. The average Inc. 5000 company grew 468 percent in the past three years, so these CEOs tend to have a particularly unique outlook on the business world.

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