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Pick Their Brains: What Drives the Top Private CEOs

Each year, Inc. magazine surveys CEOs of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., gaining an inside look at their growth strategies, how they handle current challenges and opportunities they want to embrace. See the responses from these CEOs to glean insights to build growth and find success in your operation.

  • 84% use or plan to use artificial intelligence in their business
  • 57% say LinkedIn is the most important social media platform for their business
  • 44% say their workforce has experienced burnout post-pandemic 
  • 61% say the biggest obstacle to growth is hiring and retaining employees

2 Ways They Are Using AI

  • Content creation
  • Workflow automation

Top Five Exit Strategies

  • 41% – Sell to another company
  • 18% – Sell to investors of financial partners
  • 15% – Haven’t thought about an exit
  • 9% – Pass to family members
  • 8% – Sell to employees

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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