The Second Quarter Small Business Index has been released, giving small business owners a new level of optimism. The recent report, produced by Metlife and the US Chamber of Commerce, found that small business optimism and sentiment has risen to 68.7 percent. This rise can be traced to the currently strong local economic outlook, the report notes. In fact, nearly two out of every three small US business owners report feeling positive and confident about their business environment.
Other statistics show that 32 percent of small businesses anticipate expanding and increasing their staff in the coming quarter. For businesses that report good health and projected growth, it appears that technological expansion serves as the driving factor behind increased confidence. Business owners that see themselves as “ahead of the pack,” in technology are more likely to hire in the coming year. Technological updates can include new video conferencing services, data analytics or even smartphone applications. According to Willi Avendano, co-owner of 01, current technology is a beneficial tool for business growth.
Small business optimism and sentiment has risen to 68.7 percent.
“The ability to be at the forefront of the current and emerging technology helps you solve business problems,” Avendano told the MetLife report. “If you know how to use technology, it creates a positive cycle and a company culture of innovation and problem-solving.”
Not only are staff sizes expected to expand, but a majority of business owners also anticipate higher earnings. Roughly 62 percent of participants anticipate an increase in revenue in the coming year. With businesses over 100 employees, 72 percent expect higher earnings. Nevertheless, small business owners continue to express concerns regarding economic uncertainty and industry challenges, according to Tom Sullivan, VP of Small Business Policy in the US Chamber of Commerce.
“Five straight quarters of optimism shows that small business owners feel the wind at their back and not in their faces, but there is still plenty of work to do,” Sullivan said in the report. “When I’m traveling the country and meeting with small business owners, they’re expressing concerns around general national economic uncertainty and persistent workforce challenges.
Nevertheless, many franchise owners and entrepreneurs report overall satisfaction with their business. For many survey participants, their business isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle. The report notes that most small business owners spend an average of 14 hours a day working on their business, doubling the average 7.8 hours American workday. As many references, owning a small business requires dedication and a level of passion. Whether the economic climate is favorable or challenging, small business owners report that their day-to-day schedule remains filled.
“Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart,” Etienne Gillard, CEO of Walteros, said in the report. “I work 18 hours a day and I love it—this is my life. I wake up knowing that I am more than a good dad, a good husband, and a good friend … I want to make a solution that is helping millions of people in their daily lives.”