What do you worry about? Cash flow, hiring new employees, tax issues? Are you wondering what the rest of 2005 will bring? If you said yes to any of these, you’re like many other small business owners.
U.S. small businesses are expressing growing concern about increasing interest rates, finding quality employees and taxes, according to a new International Profit Associates Small Business Research Board (IPA SBRB) study. These factors are tempering earlier optimism about the economy and revenue forecasts for 2005. Some highlights from the survey include:
– Concern about rising interest rates increased significantly from the previous IPA SBRB survey. The current survey was conducted before the Federal Reserve increased short term interest rates on August 9 for the tenth time since June 2004.
– Although a majority feels that the outlook for economy for the remainder of 2005 will be the same or better, the number of those expressing that the economy would be better decreased by 23% from the beginning of the year. At the same time, the number of those thinking the economy will be worse increased by 50%.
– About one-third of small businesses expect a significant (10 % or more) increase in revenue this year and 52% anticipate 2005 revenues to exceed last year’s. Both of these figures are significantly below the IPA SBRB study in April.
– Fewer small businesses say they will be growing the size of their staff, continuing a yearlong trend. In addition, small business owners now express growing concern about finding quality employees.
– Overall, 52% of small businesses responding indicate some revenue improvement this year down from 63% in the April IPA SBRB survey.
“Overall, entrepreneurial optimism has flagged,” said Gregg Steinberg, President of International Profit Associates added. “With healthcare, high fuel costs and increasing interest rates entrenched as major issues and the outlook for revenue less optimistic, small businesses must focus with laser beam attention on their core competencies. They must drive efficiency and productivity to maximize profitability for 2005.”
How about you? Are these your top issues? If not, what are they? Leave me a comment.