March 2, 2020
By Mary Miller
Contributing Editor, Main Street Monday
Main Street Monday – Small Business Owner Optimism Remains High
There is a sense of vibrancy and enthusiasm among small business owners that is apparent in their optimism about the economy. According to recent statistics from the 2020 Hiscox Small Business Owner Risk Outlook report, 90% of small businesses remain optimistic despite recent media projections predicting an economic slowdown.
Hiscox, a small business insurer, compiled its research findings after surveying 1,000 small business owners. According to the report:
- More than half of the survey respondents (57%) continue to feel better about the state of the U.S. economy compared to last year.
- 60% of participants indicated that the ability to attract new customers was the primary reason for strong optimism levels.
- 51% of small businesses indicated that there was an expectation for increased profits over the next year.
- Only 3% of the survey respondents said they expected a decrease in profits.
According to the report, small business owners’ top concerns for the coming year were attracting new customers (39%) and maintaining profit margins (34%). To address those concerns, 55% of business owners said that they plan to focus on growing their customer base and 48% said that they plan to increase productivity.
Even in the event of an economic downturn, 66% of small business owners said they felt confident that their businesses were prepared for any change in the economy and 90% said that they have taken precautions such as reducing expenses (43%), setting up an emergency savings fund (38%), and increasing marketing efforts (31%).
“Small business owners are risk-takers, so it should come as no surprise that in a strong economy they are looking to expand and grow the profitability of their businesses,” says Keven Kerridge, Executive Vice President of Small Business Insurance at Hiscox. “But small business owners also recognize there are many factors that could alter their plans, so many have taken steps to prepare for a change in conditions while continuing to focus on activities that will drive growth.”