Small business owners are divided about what will pose the biggest challenge to their business in the next six months.
lowered optimism about the U.S. economy, a majority of small business owners
anticipate stable revenues and balanced staffing levels in the months ahead,
according to a survey from TD Bank. An encouraging 66 percent of small
businesses polled during a recent TD Bank survey said they expect to meet or
exceed revenue projections in the upcoming quarter-a slight increase from the
57 percent that met or exceeded revenue projections during their most recent
two-thirds of American small businesses said they are not optimistic about the
economy, TD Bank's survey-which polled 300 small business owners within the
bank's Maine to Florida footprint-revealed that a majority (69 percent) expect
to keep staffing levels the same over the next quarter, with 16 percent
planning to add at least one position.
small business owners are a resilient group, and TD Bank's recent survey
results are consistent with what we see each day in our communities from Maine
to Florida," said Fred Graziano, head of regional commercial banking,
government banking and small business for TD Bank. "Despite the economic
obstacles they continue to face, these findings indicate that small business
owners and employees continue to do what they can not just to make ends meet,
but to exceed their business goals."
from economic factors, TD Bank's survey also found that small business owners
are divided about what will pose the biggest challenge to their business in the
next six months. Rising health care and insurance costs (22 percent), declining
sales (21 percent), retaining and growing their client base (21 percent), and
cash flow concerns (19 percent) are their top worries. Fewer believe rising
energy costs (10 percent) and pressure from larger competitors (7 percent)
represent the greatest challenges.
small business owners remain committed to investing in their business. Nearly
75 percent expect to maintain or increase capital investments over the next
quarter, and when asked to best describe their future plans for their business,
64 percent said they would look to stay afloat or significantly grow in the
next five years. Only 11 percent plan to sell or shut down their business
Bank polled small business owners to understand their companies' current and
anticipated financial health, as well as their thoughts on the overall economy
and their future business plans. The research was conducted in August 2011 by
ORC International, which surveyed companies with 50 or fewer employees and
annual sales of no more than $5 million.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.