Small Business Owners Start to See Growth Opportunities Despite Economic Conditions

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The fall American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor reports that small business owners are seeing growth opportunities even in the challenging economic environment of the past 4 years. Analysts at Sunovis Financial found the gap between the overall results and the results of those owners who are considered high achievers to be especially noteworthy. The report shows that the high achievers continue to excel in a number of ways, leading to business growth even in economic adversity.

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With small businesses making up such a large portion of the U.S. economy, it is good to see the resilience and adaptability of small business owners.

According to the fall American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor the number of small business owners who believe economic conditions are hampering growth has dropped since the fall 2011 survey. 839 small business owners (those with less than 100 employees) were surveyed to generate the data in the report.

One part of the survey is the Small Business Owner Success Index which focuses on the growth of small business and the methods used by owners to achieve success in their business.

Based on the findings of the survey, only 20 percent of the small business owners surveyed feel that current economic conditions are their largest barrier to growth. This compares favorably with the 23 percent who felt that way when the survey was conducted in the fall of 2011. Another sign of optimism is the number of small business owners who are stressed by the economy (59 percent currently versus 64 percent in April), and the number of businesses with cash flow problems (53 percent versus 58 percent in April).

Perhaps the most telling aspect of the report is the differences it highlights between the average business owner and those who are considered “high achievers.” High achievers excel in a number of ways, among them are:

  •     Risk taking. High achievers are more likely to take risks and 67 percent (versus 35 percent of all owners) have increased their appetite for risk since last year.
  •     Growth as a priority. 51 percent of the high achievers surveyed have growth as their top priority over the next 6 months (versus 31 percent of the total survey group). In addition, 93 percent of the high achievers said they are planning to grow their business over the next 6 months, while just 69 percent of the overall survey group felt this way.
  •     Capital investments. High achievers are more likely to invest in their business over the next 6 months. 78 percent said they will make capital investments, with just 49 percent of the overall survey group making the same claim.
  •     Incentivizing customers. In an effort to combat the weak economy, 84 percent of the high achievers are placing more emphasis on customer service as a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors. By contrast, just 78 percent of the total survey group is focused on stronger customer service.
  •     Social media usage. High achievers are far more likely to use social media (70 percent versus 49 percent of the overall group). In addition, 79 percent are using social media to attract new customers, versus 57 percent of the total survey group.

With small businesses making up such a large portion of the U.S. economy, it is good to see the resilience and adaptability of small business owners.

About Sunovis Financial
We help small businesses compete and succeed in today’s difficult world through suitable financing channels. Our professionals help guide borrowers on a variety of lending options, with a specialization on SBA loans.

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Kathy Heshelow
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