Bank of America’s latest small business survey found that optimism is very high in the small business community. This survey result demonstrates the highest level of confidence in the small business industry since 2015, with 54 percent of respondents saying they feel secure in the nation’s economy.
The survey was conducted with the help of 1,000 small business owners around the nation. With 54 percent of small business owners finding confidence in the national economy, this statistic is up two points from 2017, and a whopping 25 points since 2016. Small business owners also hold great hope in their local economy as well, with 56 percent stating they feel positive about improvements. This is up 6 points since 2017 and 18 points since 2016.
At Imperial Advance, our small business clients are moving ahead with growth and expansion plans securing new sources of capital with business term loans, merchant cash advances, revenue based financing and lines of credit.
Due to this high level of confidence, small business owners are expecting to experience long-term growth. A majority of small business owners (60 percent) believe their company’s revenue will grow this year. The same amount of small business owners have plans to expand their businesses within the next five years.
The survey results indicate that the recent changes to the tax code are boosting confidence from small business owners. In fact, 58 percent of small business owners believe the tax reform will be a ‘game-changer’ for their business. Additionally, 37 percent of small business owners have actually adjusted their 2018 business plans due to the tax law changes. Seventy-one 71 percent report an expected financial savings which they will use to further build their businesses, including reinvestment, employee recognition, adding employees, capital improvements, and operation expansion.
However, the survey results are not all rosy. Small business owners also expect to face some issues with health care costs, interest rates, commodities pricing, the strength of the U.S. dollar, and the national and global stock markets.
In terms of technology, small business owners report an expansion in smartphone usage for business-related activities, with 89 percent of small business owners relying on smartphone technology at work. This includes completing basic tasks, online banking, updating social media, making digital payments, and using a mobile device to assist in employee recruitment. Other technology related issues include an increase in digital payments, with 52 percent of respondents agreeing that payments will be 100% digital within five years.
However, only 59 percent of small business owners surveyed say they have a website, with only 31 percent using their websites to drive sales. Forty-six percent of small business owners fear an internet outage could damage their business, including 34 percent who feel they would lose revenue and 25 percent fearing a loss of customers.
Technology is integral to the future success of small business, with 44 percent of small business owners saying they are interested in or already use advanced tech, including IoT (the Internet of Things), data analytics, 3-D printing, AI and VR. However, few respondents (13 percent) believe blockchain technology will positively impact their business in the short-term.