Small business owners are feeling more optimistic than they have since the Great Recession hit six years ago, according to a new study released by Wells Fargo and Gallup.
The survey of business owners found that the overall score that measures sentiments went up to 58 in last month, up from July when it was 49. While the numbers are up and have not been this good since 2008, they are still below pre-recession levels. Even with that, small business owners believe 2015 will be a winning year for them.
“Positive trends in hiring and stronger cash flows show us that small businesses are healthier and are on much more solid footing as they look toward 2015,” said Lisa Stevens, Head of Regional Banking Sales and Marketing for Wells Fargo.
Let the good times roll
When asked how they felt about their company’s fiscal profile next year, 71% said they believed their overall financial situation would be somewhat good or even very good, up from 66% last quarter.
They also have their eye on hiring more over the next year, with 26% saying that they will be adding somewhere between a few to a lot of jobs to their payroll, up from 20 % in July 2014.
If hiring is up, investing in their businesses is next on the agenda, with 29% expecting to allocate more money for capital spending, versus 4% in the last quarter.
Revenue forecasts are positive, with just over half of the respondents believing that their income will go up a little or a lot. Just 14% are expecting a downturn.
Confidence is up too
While confidence is high, this doesn’t mean that small business owners don’t have concerns. But they are far less anxious about them than three years ago. The numbers telling the tale:
- 22% said they were very or moderately worried when it came to being able pay their employees, down from 15% in 2011
- 7% are very worried about going out of business, down from 15% in 2011
- Just 5% are very worried about whether or not they can make the minimum payment on their credit card payments, down from 12% from 2011
- 8% are very worried that they won’t be able to pay their household bills, down from 17% in 2011.
When asked what challenges they would face in the coming years, attracting customers and new business took the top spot, followed up by government regulations and financial stability.
The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index was conducted by telephone November 10-14. They interviewed 601 small business owners, located in all 50 states.