Business owners are planning on tackling the next year with their current staff in place, new research has found.
Sixty-three percent of small business owners in a new poll say they do not intend to hire any new employees in the next year. That's in addition to the 68 percent of business owners who did not hire a new employee over the past year.
Business owners say there are a number of reasons behind their bleak hiring outlook. Nearly half of companies polled say they cannot afford to hire any additional workers, while nearly 40 percent say their businesses are not growing. Additionally, 39 percent of business owners say they are taking on additional responsibilities themselves. And 14 percent say that they cannot find qualified talent to fill positions.
Those feelings are also indicative of an overall conservatism in terms of spending and hiring among business owners, the research found. Eighty percent of respondents say they have been more conservative this year. That's up from 73 percent in the fall of last year and 49 percent in the spring of 2012. Just 2 percent of small business owners say they are very risky with their business.
"The decrease in the level of risk small business owners are taking is a significant concern," said Liam McGee, chairman, president and chief executive officer for The Hartford, which conducted the research. "Entrepreneurs’ drive, determination and readiness to take risks are what fuels small business creation, innovation and success, and we need to instill an environment that encourages their growth and development."
Business owners do not appear to be stressed about being conservative, the researchers found. Seventy-three percent of business owners say they are successful despite being conservative in their hiring. Business owners have that feeling because they are less worried about some of the biggest business challenges. Those challenges include economic growth, health care costs and taxes.
Overall, businesses are still worried about the economy, with just 47 percent of respondents saying they are optimistic for the future. However, respondents are more optimistic about their local economies than they are about the national economy.
The research was based on the responses of 1,000 business owners.