Key Takeaways from The Hartford Small Business Success Study
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- On July 15, 2016
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Many of today’s small business owners have an optimistic take on the economy. The good news is that a recent study by The Hartford’s 2015 Small Business Success Study says that that the economy is strong and is growth mode. In addition, a significant number of small businesses admitted that they are happy with the size and operations of their companies and are not actively trying to grow.
According to the Hartford Study, 33-percent of small business owners reported that “…their primary goal is to grow their business significantly.” Growth in this case represents strategic plans to increase sales, revenues or staff. While this may sound logical, a whopping 52-percent said they are in maintaining mode and do not have plans to grow their businesses significantly.
The Hartford Study further iterates that many small businesses feel good about their businesses – to the tune of 73-percent. Likewise the number of small businesses that feel the economy strong and will only get stronger also increased. That sentiment rose to 73-percent – up 69-percent from 2011.
“It is encouraging to see better overall sentiment among small business owners, however, the decline in owners focused on growth is something all of us need to pay attention to,” said Hartford’s CEO Christopher J. Swift.
Given the maintenance sentiment on behalf of many small businesses, it will come as no surprise that the number of small business owners report that small businesses are not taking risks. According to the Hartford Study, only 17-percent said they were taking risks to increase their business growth while 79-percent consider themselves “conservative” when it comes to taking any kind of risk.
The Hartford study also looked into why or why not small businesses are hiring. The study reported that those who are not satisfied with the state of their business have not hired (or hired enough). Likewise, those who do feel their business is operating on all cylinders claim they are not hiring because either they don’t need to or do not have plans to grow their small business.
The study also examined issues that are impacting businesses and found that those in the hospitality or retail industries who need to upgrade their payment mode to chip (and had to by October 1 to avoid customer lawsuits if their credit cards are hacked,) “…half (50 percent) of all small business owners are unaware of the Oct. 1 deadline …and thirty-three percent of owners are aware of the change and 12 percent are not sure”.
Another issue that has affected small businesses (for years actually) is using social media to respond to customers. The study found that 37-percent think social media for guest outreach is successful versus 19-percent who do not think social media is successful in this matter. At National Business Helpers, we use Facebook to share information helpful to small business every day.