Three out of four small business owners expect sales revenues to increase in the next year, according to the Business Pulse Survey just released by The Alternative Board (TAB).
The survey is commissioned each quarter to provide an accurate pulse on the perspectives, perceptions, and predictions of small business owners.
The survey gathered responses from 300 private small business owners – half of which are currently members of TAB boards – and focused this quarter on the topics of personnel, business profits, sales revenues, and local economies. The findings point to trends of optimism and profitability for survey respondents:
- 69% of U.S. business owners reported improvement in their local economy compared to one year ago.
- 75% of all respondents expect their sales revenues to rise over the next year, while just 12% forecast a decline in revenues.
- 67% of owners surveyed predict their overall business profits to increase.
- 65% assessed their current experience as “easy” when it comes to retaining current employees.
- 43% of owners indicated their intention to increase full-time hiring in the next year.
Jason Zickerman, TAB’s President and CEO, who recently attended America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, DC, agrees the survey findings support what he experienced at the U.S. Chamber’s event.
“Today’s small business owners, I find, are far more geared for the possibilities of the future than the obstacles of the past or even the present,” Zickerman said. “With a very entrepreneurial spirit, they seem empowered to work on their businesses while remaining prepared for what’s to come. They are exhibiting more confidence and control, and it’s great to see again.”
Results from the survey indicate current and future outlooks by TAB members are far improved over those of non-TAB business owners:
- 70% of TAB members surveyed indicated they are finding it easier to retain full-time staff.
- 65% of TAB members reported improvement in their local economy over one year ago, compared to just 41% of non-TAB owners reporting the same.
- 72% of TAB’s small business owners predicted their business profits will increase in the next year, vs. 58% of non-TAB owners.
- One out of two TAB members intend to hire full-time staff in the next year.
- Most notably, 79% of TAB members indicated an expectation of increased sales revenues over the coming year.
The biggest challenge owners reported for hiring staff is that candidates are “missing the necessary experience in our industry.” When asked to rate different channels for hiring staff, respondents indicated “employee referral” as the best method, followed by “classified ads,” “LinkedIn,” and their own company website.