Despite the economic downturn and the huge disruption to industries, small businesses are expressing optimism about recovery. Not only do they feel optimistic about the future but 82% of entrepreneurs now feel better prepared to handle a crisis.
This was the finding of a new survey from American Express, which confirms the resilience of the US’s small business community.
The ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit in the United States Remains Strong’ report surveyed 1,000 small to mid-sized business owners. It also reached out to 1,000 consumers.
American Express Survey: More Small Businesses Prepared for Crisis
81% of the small business owners polled believe the benefits of running a business still outweigh the challenges. 89% of respondents cited financial stability as the leading benefit of owning a business. This was quickly followed with being your own boss as a primary advantage of running your own business. 86% if those polled said the key reward was turning a passion into a business. 85% said it was creating jobs. The same figure said their number one benefit is having the flexibility to set their own hours.
Meeting the Changes in Demand
The research also looked at how small businesses plan to meet the changes in demand in the market.
79% of business owners said they have pivoted or are in the process of pivoting their business model to maintain revenue. 73% of small business owners who have pivoted say they expect to adjust their business model again next year.
Common examples of business pivoting include doubling down on online sales offering and the manufacturing of PPE for the first time.
How Businesses Can Adapt to Meet Changing Consumer Priorities
The survey also unveiled some specific changes consumer demands in the wake of the health crisis. 42% of consumers say they now prioritize items they need. 40% say they have altered their interest in personal health and wellness products. Around 40% of those interviewed say they have shifted their household spend to new and/or different priorities. Around three-quarters of consumers anticipate this shift will continue over the next six months.
Such consumer insights are important for small businesses, as they confirm the type of industries and products shoppers are prioritizing. With such knowledge on-board, small businesses can adapt to new demands and essentially make their business more ‘crisis-proof.’
Talking to Small Biz Trends, Kathryn Petralia, co-founder and president of Kabbage, an American Express company, shared her optimism about the future for small businesses:
“I’ve spent hours and hours speaking with small business owners throughout the crisis and their ingenuity, grit and will to win has simply blown me away. Amidst one of the worst crises of our time, new business applications are at an all-time high, optimism is strong and the study shows how business owners are adapting to find growth in new opportunities. Similarly, as Kabbage was founded during the height of 2008 Financial Crisis, I am confident this crisis will spur the next wave of American innovation,” said Petralia.