Small business owners are optimistic about their growth prospects in 2021. This positive tone marks a stark difference to the pessimistic projections felt by small business at the start of the pandemic.
The upbeat outlook was uncovered by a new survey released by Bill.com. Bill.com are providers of cloud-based software that automates back-office financial operations for small businesses.
The survey interviewed 1,000 small business owners in the US on their thoughts on business growth in 2021. It found that 75% of small businesses are planning on introducing new products and services in an effort to nurture growth.
Bill.com Survey Finds Small Business Owners Optimistic
The research is important as it demonstrates the sentiment among the small business community as lockdown restrictions are being lifted. In light that other businesses are planning on expanding products and services, the survey acts as a prompt for other businesses to do the same. Those small businesses failing to proactively nurture growth during this critical year, run the risk of being left behind. Now is more important than ever for small businesses to look to find ways to create more opportunities.
René Lacerte, Bill.com CEO and founder, says, “Our findings show that the pandemic hasn’t broken SMBs’ resilient spirit and despite the challenges faced over the past year, they are moving from surviving the pandemic to now growing their business.
“As a champion of SMBs, we are leveraging our platform to deliver the innovation needed so that they can focus on more strategic opportunities.”
Government Assistance Less Critical for Growth
The survey found there is now less reliance on Government assistance. Out of those surveyed, only 13% say loans and other Government assistance would be most critical for them to grow in the current quarter. 38% said the easing of lockdown is critical to business growth. 26% of small business owners cite day-to-day decision-making as the most important driving in growth.
Taking Matters into their Own Hands
Rather than looking to outside factors for help like they did at the start of the pandemic, 75% of participants say they have taken matters into their own hands. 51% said such strategies include offering discounts to customers and making price changes. 30% say they are implementing new customer outreach techniques. 26% of small business owners say they are introducing new products or service. Just under a quarter of the small businesses surveyed say there are negotiating the payment terms of customers and suppliers. 19% are introducing new business model pivots.
As the vaccine rollout continues and the economy starts to open, Bill.com’s survey complements the air of optimism felt among many small business owners. That said, it is important that small businesses remain shrewd and savvy by making moves to reach out to customers to help nurture growth. Such moves may include altering prices and extending product lines to encourage more sales and, ultimately, growth.