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Reliant Funding Small Business Report (November 2017)

This behind the scenes report reveals how US small business owners are approaching their capital needs and investment plans in the months ahead. We took an overall look at pain points, challenges and plans for growth of small businesses in the eyes of their owners. Aside from tracking those factors, the study includes a special focus on business debt management, business back up plans and sentiment on alternative business loans and finance providers. It’s part of the ongoing process to understand the issues small business owners face.

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Complete Statistics From Report

Business Optimism

  • 50% Optimistic
  • 43% Satisfied
  • 7% Discouraged

Business Growth

  • 8% It’s steadily growing and is on an upward trend
  • 7% Staying the same (no increase/decrease in growth)
  • 5% It’s on a downward trend

Investment over next 6 months

  • 5% No plans to invest or expand the business
  • 5% Marketing efforts
  • 5% New products/inventory
  • 5% Technology
  • 5 Facility/equipment upgrades
  • 5% Hire more employees
  • 5% Staff training
  • 5% Other

Biggest internal challenge of running a business

  • 7% Hiring skilled workers
  • 1% Cash Flow
  • 1% Marketing/advertising
  • 6% Finding access to working capital
  • 5% Other

Primary area business seeks outside assistance

  • 7% Finances/taxes
  • 1% Business Strategy
  • 1% Marketing /reputation management
  • 1% Expansion Opportunities
  • 0% Other

Top 3 external factors with biggest impact on small businesses

  • 3% Competitors
  • 8% Customer spending
  • 6% Healthcare costs


Small business owners who are familiar with alternative finance services

  • 49% are familiar with alternative finance services, but have never used them
  • 9% have never heard of alternative finance services.
  • 1% are familiar with alternative finance services and have used them

If funded with alternative finance over traditional lenders, reasons for doing so:

  • 5% said it was going to take too long to get the cash I needed right away
  • 7% have bad credit history and it was the best option for them
  • 7% weren’t happy with the application process at their banks/credit unions
  • 2% did so because they were denied a loan from their banks/credit unions

What are business owners using their alternative finance funds for:

  • 7% used the funds to buy inventory
  • 8% used the funds to buy new and/or replace old equipment
  • 8% used the funds to invest in marketing effort
  • 7% used the funds to float their business due to a gap in receivables.

How small business owners pay their business credit card balance every month:

  • 7% pay the balance in full every month
  • 5% do NOT pay the balance in full but make more than minimum payment.
  • 7% only make the minimum payment every month

Financial Back Up Plans

With the recent natural disasters across the nation, businesses both directly and indirectly impacted by these events are facing the challenge of resorting to their financial back up plan.

According to our survey the dangers are real with 41% of businesses reporting they do not have a backup plan in place in the event of an emergency.

For those that do have a plan, here’s how much have they saved away

  • 8% $10k – $25k
  • 3% $100k – over
  • 4% $75k – $100k
  • 5% $50k – $75k
  • 7% $25k – $50k
  • 3% have no savings

Holidays Approaching – To Party or Not to Party

While holiday parties may seem standard, many businesses are choosing to bypass the events, with 38.5% of businesses reporting they do not organize holiday celebrations for employees.

A Little About the Businesses We Spoke To


  • 9% Retail Industry (majority are in the retail industry)
  • 4% Construction Industry
  • 9% Professional Services


  • 3% female owned
  • 2% male owned
  • 5% prefer not to answer

Gross Annual Revenue:

  • 5% grossed less than $250 k
  • 33% grossed between $251 k – $1 million
  • 5% grossed between $1 million – $10 million
  • 1% grossed over $10 million
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