How are small business owners feeling about their companies’ success nearly halfway through 2013? More than half (60 percent) are satisfied with their businesses’ financial performance, according to a new TD Bank survey of more than 600 U.S. small business owners. However, small businesses still face some challenges as the economy recovers.
The biggest challenges small business owners foresee for 2013 are growing their businesses (51 percent), dealing the economic environment (45 percent) and managing cash flow (34 percent). The biggest priority is business growth and expansion, cited by 50 percent of survey respondents.
Specifically, small business owners want to grow their businesses, expand services, develop new contacts and new clients, and drive better sales. Compared to the “hold steady” attitude of the recession, where small business owners were simply trying to hold onto the customers they had, most small business owners are feeling more proactive these days. Nearly 51 percent said they plan to focus on generating new sales and/or accounts. In contrast, just 20 percent of small business owners said their main focus will be on retaining business.
However, most entrepreneurs in the survey will be trying to do all this without hiring new employees. Nearly eight in 10 small businesses surveyed (79 percent) say they have no plans to hire in 2013—a significant increase from the 59 percent who said this in December 2012. Only 17 percent plan to hire at least one new employee—nearly half the 32 percent who were planning to hire six months ago.
When TD asked small business owners who don’t plan to hire whether they would hire if circumstances made it possible, 68 percent said no. Why not? Half were concerned about controlling their costs, 49 percent were worried that there wasn’t enough work to justify hiring a new employee, and 36 percent said that their sales and revenue were declining.
How do these business owners’ concerns jibe with yours? Are you trying to grow your company without adding new workers? If so, using temporary employees, part-time employees or interns, or outsourcing to independent contractors, can help you get the extra work done without straining your finances as much as a full-time hire might.
Image by Flickr user bobaliciouslondon (Creative Commons)