Small business owners and entrepreneurs have good reason for many of the sleepless nights they experience. New research has found that small business owners admit a number of things keep them up at night.
First and foremost, small business owners say they are worried about how they will generate new sales. Additionally, business owners also say they worry about expenses eating into their profits, time management and managing their employees. Small business owners also admit worrying about keeping their existing customers happy, not growing fast enough and finding the right employees.
Despite those worries, nearly half of the businesses surveyed say they are doing better than they expected at the start of the year. Thirty-eight percent of business owners say they are performing as expected, while 13 percent of business owners say they are doing worse than expected.
"It is clear that there is a bit of anxiety in the responses as owners would prefer it if their businesses were growing more quickly," said Toffer Grant, founder and CEO of prepaid expense card company PEX Card, which conducted the research. "Compared to business and economic sentiments from a few years ago, things appear to be improving."
Small business owners have some big plans for the coming year as well. Thirty percent of respondents say they will increase spending on technology and equipment. Additionally, 26 percent of business owners say they will increase spending on online advertising, while one- quarter of respondents say they will increase spending on material and supplies. Just 15 percent of business owners say they will increase spending on traditional advertising such as fliers, mail or newspaper ads.
Additionally, businesses do not have big plans to increase staffing during the rest of the year. Nearly 60 percent of business owners say they will keep staffing levels the same, while 37 percent plan on adding staff. Just 5 percent of respondents say they will reduce staff.
"Sentiments about the condition their businesses also seem to be stabilizing — there is higher confidence in maintaining staff expense and operating expenses," Grant said. "I believe that if customers are spending money on staff and operating expenses, revenue is being generated, which is a good thing!"
Small business owners also say that they expect the current economic situation to stay the same over the next year. Overall, 52 percent of respondents say they expect the economy to stay the same, while 35 percent predict it will improve. Just 13 percent say they expect the economy to decline.
"Responses to the PEX Card Mid-Year Survey do a great job of illustrating stable levels of confidence owners have in their respective industries and the economies in which they operate," Grant said. "Companies we come in contact with are business to consumer and business to business businesses functioning across a broad-based footprint from local markets through to the entire nation."