A tough economy is not dampening the mood of small business owners. New research finds that 68 percent of small business owners feel they are successful despite the fact that just 1 in 3 business owners think the economy will improve in 2013.
For small business owners, passion and profitability were the top factors influencing their feelings of success, beating out personal wealth. Eighty-five percent of business owners say having enough money to lead a comfortable lifestyle made them feel successful, while 81 percent say that increasing profitability at their business meant they were a success. Just 59 percent of business owners say that making a lot of money makes them a success.
Despite feelings of success, small business owners are still worried about the slow growth of the economy and taxes. Business owners are also uncertain about federal regulations and more than three-quarters of them say they expect taxes to rise in the next year.
Business owners, however, are finding ways around those risks. They have cut costs, strengthened their relationships with clients and begun searching for new clients. To cut costs, business owners say they have taken less money from the business, invested less and reduced compensation and hires.
"Small businesses are the foundation of the American economy. If we can restore their confidence in the future, they can hire, add jobs and help fuel growth," said Liam E. McGee, chairman, president and chief executive officer for The Hartford, which conducted the research. "The good news is that there are solutions that can help eliminate uncertainty around the tax and regulatory environment, and encourage small businesses to hire. While many small business owners clearly have concerns, they are resilient and dedicated to doing the right things for their businesses and employees."
The research was based on the responses of 2,004 small business owners conducted by Braun Research for The Hartford. Companies had fewer than 100 employees and annual revenues of $100,000 or greater.