Every month, we survey small business owners to gain insight into sentiments on operations, perceived growth, health of the business and primary investment plans for the future. Aside from tracking those factors, we include a special focus as well. This month we wanted to know more about business debt management, business back up plans and sentiment on alternative business loan and financing providers. The top three industries respondents fell under were retail, construction and professional services.
Below, you will find the data we track every month. We will release the full report with complete statistics later this month.
Gross Annual Revenue
Of the respondents, 44 percent grossed less than $250k over the past year. 33 percent grossed between $251k and $1 million. 23 percent grossed between $1 million and $10 million. Only one percent grossed over 10 million.
Future Investments for Growth
Results were spread across the board in terms of how small business owners plan to invest for 2018. 19 percent have no plans to invest. Those who plan to invest prioritize marketing efforts and new/products, which both came in at 18 percent. Those who will invest in technology or facility/equipment upgrades, came in at 16 percent. Only 10 percent will hire more staff, which could be indicative of the current low unemployment rate. 5 percent plan to invest in staff training while 2 percent have no specified plan to invest.
Sentiment on Current State of Business and Growth
Sentiment remains sunny as 50 percent said they felt optimistic about the current state of their business. 43 percent felt satisfied while 7 percent felt discouraged about their business affairs.
When asked about perceived status of business growth, the numbers lined up closely with sentiment. 56 percent said it’s growing and on an upward trend. 36 percent felt there is no strong increase/decrease in growth while 9 percent said it is on a downward trend.
Areas of Consultation
Finances/Taxes is the most common area in which small business owners seek consultation at 31 percent. 25 percent need help strategizing their business plan. 24 percent need marketing/reputation management consultation, while 15 percent seek help with expansion opportunities. 5 percent have no specified area where they need help.
The top three internal factors affecting small business owners is finding and hiring skilled workers at 31 percent, cash flow in a close second at 27 percent, followed by marketing/advertising challenges at 24 percent. As for external factors, competitors are a big concern at 28 percent followed closely by customer spending at 28 percent, then healthcare costs at 14 percent.
We will release the full report with complete statistics later in the month. Want more? Check out this infographic of our last report.