Current Small Business Sentiment

Last week we discussed why shopping small business is important. The effects that the growth of small business has on a community, city, state, and national level are amazing. Besides gaining support from consumers, small business owners face a lot of challenges on many different levels. Entrepreneurs often start a business because of their passion for what product or service they have to offer. They may have an excellent product/service but without some of the other basic know-how regarding running a business, they may not succeed.  It is important to have a gauge on how small business owners are feeling regarding the optimism of running a business and to have a good feel for what challenges they face on a regular basis. A recent survey was conducted, the Small Business Sentiment Survey, to find out the general perspective of small business owners in the United States. Here are a few of the main findings.

1) Small business owners personal concerns including affording healthcare (48%), saving for retirement (46%) and providing an adequate lifestyle for their family (33%).  The top professional worries are finding new customers (42%), affording healthcare and other employee benefits (39%) and keeping current customers (33%).

2) Those surveyed are happy to be small business owners.  More than nine in 10 of (91%) are happy that they became small business owners.  A majority of small business owners (59%) also shared that they would likely not consider selling their business over the next few years.

3) Over half of small business owners have a good work-life balance.  52% of SMB owners work 40 hours or less and almost three in four (72%) take at least two weeks of vacation per year.  More than one in four (27%) SMB owners actually take four or more weeks of vacation per year.  However, almost four in 10 (39%) small business owners work 41-60 hours per week and almost one in 10 (9%) work over 60 hours a week.  Additionally, just 11% of small business owners don’t take any vacation.

4) Small business owners are generally not happy with the support they receive from the government. 73% believe that the federal government is more of a hindrance than a help.

5)  More than half of small business owners use technology to help with accounting operations but more than half of small business owners do not have a website (52%) or even measure the results of their marketing programs (56%).

For more information you can visit the complete report for further details. The last point is astounding. Several articles discuss this specific point including Snap Out Of It! The Surprising Basics Business Owners Are Ignoring on the American Express OpenForum and How Small Business Owners Are Wrecking Their Own Chances Of Success on Forbes.com. Small business owners may have an amazing product or service but in this day and age, if you are not online then chances are many people are not going to know about your amazing product/service.

What is your feeling on why small business owners are missing out on establishing a web presence and all the potential traffic that can come with it?

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