Categorized | Business

Small Business Optimism Surges

By Tom Irmen

Since the election of 2016, there has been an undeniable surge in small business optimism nationwide. And despite the feelings on the part of many that this upswing in optimism is tied directly to the presidential election, I have no interest in wading into the possible political aspects of this much welcomed rise in sentiment. Besides, we already have a 24/7 news media that will debate this renewed optimism for us.

Regardless of who you voted for in the last election, there’s no denying that this new level of optimism among small business owners has spiked dramatically in recent months. The real question for you to consider is how are you planning to take full advantage of this rising tide?

Here are some facts to consider:
» Small business lending has now increased to pre-recession 2008 levels, signaling an expansion in small business growth.
» A recent Bank of America survey found that 51% of small business owners expect the economy to improve during the next 12 months compared to only 31% last fall.
» ADP has reported a nearly three-fold increase in hiring from the fourth quarter of 2016 by small businesses that employ fewer than 50 employees.
» The National Association of Manufactures has reported that 93% of manufacturing industry executives are optimistic about the future of the economy, up from 56% just a few months ago.

Regardless of all of these positive signs, the great recession has dramatically changed the behavior of many of today’s small business owners, and entrepreneurs are displaying a heightened level of caution. Much of today’s optimism can be directly traced to future expectations that are reliant upon a variety of governmental actions that are anything but certain. But despite this level of uncertainty, the cost of inaction on your part can result in missed opportunities and the erosion of market share.

While risk aversion is more a part of a business owner’s DNA today than it was a decade ago, even the most cautious among us should be encouraged enough by recent developments to take advantage of this long awaited rise in optimism. Consider expanding into a new product or service line or stepping up your existing marketing efforts to successfully differentiate your small business from your competitors, helping existing and would-be customers to understand and appreciate just how they will benefit from doing business with your company.

The cost of action is likely far less than the cost of sitting on the fence.

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