The success of small businesses is extremely important to the overall economy of the U.S. because of their sheer volume. The Small Business Administration (SBA) puts the number of small businesses at 30.20 million for 2018.
2019 Small Business Forecast
So, when a survey reports 76% of small business owners say they have been successful in the last year, it is great news all around. The data comes from the fifth annual First Citizens Bank Small Business Forecast, which reveals even more good news.
Almost the same percentage of owners (74%) also say they expect their business to grow in the next six to 12 months. This is a 12% increase from the 2018 survey.
Kate Stackhouse, director of sales strategy at First Citizens Bank, highlighted the role of small businesses in the economy. Adding, “Year after year, the vision and accomplishments of these business owners have an immense impact on the health of our economy.”
Optimism and Growth
Overall, the respondents in the 2019 small business forecast survey are optimistic about the future of their business. Of those who said their business was successful (76%) this past year, 24.9% of them say it was very successful.
Wisconsin is first with 87% of respondents saying their business was a success. This was followed by Florida (83%), California (76%), South Carolina (75%), and North Carolina (69%).
As to the growth of their business, 77% say they are confident their business is going to grow in 2019, a 2% increase from 2018. But close to half of those or 34.2% say they are very confident.
The confidence also extends to the overall economy. More than two thirds or 68% say they are confident about the economic conditions of the U.S. in 2019. The same percentage of owners feel this way for the next two to three years about the U.S. economy.
Strategy for Growth
So how do owners plan to grow their business? Improving customer satisfaction and loyalty is first on the list with 51% of owners. Identifying new customer segments (45%) and creating new products and services (29%) round up the top three strategies.
Owners also say they plan to expand to new locations (25%), attend networking events (23%), work with social influencers (20%), and more.
They plan to implement these strategies anywhere from the next six to 12 months. And in most cases, this will require funding.
According to the report, only 43% of the respondents plan to secure funding for their growth strategy in the next six to 12 months. And when they do, 48% of them are going to go to a bank.
Personal savings (41%), friends and family (33%), and business credit cards (21%) are also mentioned as ways to secure funding.
The 2019 Small Business Forecast Survey
A couple of the objectives with this research is to uncover the pain points and challenges small to mid-size business (SMB) owners are currently facing. And provide year-over-year trend analysis to determine where the segment is heading.
This was accomplished through a survey carried out in North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Florida and Wisconsin. A total of 330 small business owners in these states took part in the online survey in February 2019.
The majority (59%) of the respondents have fewer than 10 employees.
This is good. This means that business owners are optimistic and there is a demand for their products and services.