A survey carried out by QuickBridge has revealed small business owners are optimistic about the coming year. A majority or 59.9% said they will see an increase in 2019.
The QuickBridge  Small Business Owners Survey looked to gauge the view of owners across a range of topics in the US. This includes the economy, performance, sales, taxes, staffing, financing and more.
The questions in the survey are issues small businesses owners have to deal with year in and year out. The result gives owners insights they can use to identify upcoming trends, address challenges, and seek out new opportunities in the small business segment.
2019 Small Business Expectations
The first question was, “How do you expect the U.S. economy to perform in 2019?”
The majority, as mentioned above, said they will see an increase. This was followed by 27.7% who said the year will remain flat, and the remaining 12.9% believed it will take a downturn.
While the volatility of the stock market was high in the last month of 2018 and it captured headlines, the fundamentals of the US economy are strong. In fact, it ended the year with a whopping 312,000 new jobs for December.
In addition to low employment numbers (3.9%), wages are increasing, businesses across the board are hiring, and banks are approving record number of loans . These are all economic indicators which create a positive environment for new businesses and those looking to expand.
The second question looked into what small businesses expect in term of sales for the year. A clear majority (83%) said it is going to increase, with 15% saying it will remain flat and only 2.29% indicating it will be a down year.
As to the tax question, 33.5% of owners said their tax burden will be lower. The majority or 48.9% pointed out it will have no impact, and 17.5% went the other direction by stating their tax burden will increase.
With all of the positive outlook for 2019, it is only natural for owners to increase their staff. And the survey supported this point of view.
More than half (55.5%) said they will be adding new staff, with only 2.6% lowering the number of employees in their organization. For the remaining 42.5%, 2019 is not a year they will be hiring.
What about challenges?
Small businesses face a host of challenges, but for 2019 securing capital took the top spot at 40.8% of the respondents. Increasing profits was next at 28.8%, growth at 22.7%, hiring employees at 20.6%, and new products/services was last with 11.5%.
Regarding financing or securing capital, they were asked: “How do you find the current financing process offered by online lenders vs. the process at traditional lenders?”
Almost an equal amount found the process difficult and very easy at 24.5% and 22.8% respectively. The remaining 53.5% said it was fairly easy.
If they get the funding, what do owners plan to do with it in 2019?
The majority or 43.1% are looking to expand. This was followed by an almost equal amount saying they will get new equipment (31.8%) and consolidate/pay of their bills (31.1%). The rest will buy materials/inventory (26.5%), pay taxes (9.5%), and other (12.6%).