When it comes to fellow small business owners, entrepreneurs are putting their money where their mouths are, according to a new study from American Express. It shows that 96% of small businesses are committed to supporting their local communities in a variety of ways.
Most of them (83%) shop at other small stores in their neighborhood rather than big box retailers.When asked whether they donate to local causes, 70% of small business owners said they do. Half of them (49%) participate in community projects as well.
People make the difference
The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor also asked about staff. While only 31% plan to hire in the next six months, many business owners valued employees indicating they are the lifeblood of their small businesses.
Nearly 30% of business owners agreed with the statement: “You are only as good as your people.”Among those, nearly three-quarter (72%) said that their workers’ productivity has increased over the last year and 42% planned to reward those efforts with raises this year.
Glass half-empty vs. glass half-full
Cash flow is a concern for many entrepreneurs, with 59% saying they are worried about their operating budget. Last fall only 53% said they were anxious about cash flow.
Just over half of small business owners have a rosy view of the future. Fifty-four percent said they were optimistic about their business prospects, but only 50% plan to up their capital investments in the next six months.
Still, most small business owners report a high level of satisfaction with their career paths. Ninety-two percent say they are “happy with their lives,” and 76% attribute that happiness to branching out to start their own businesses.
Many of them would encourage friends or family to consider striking out on their own with two-thirds saying they recommend being an entrepreneur. That represents a big shift in sentiment over the last few years. In the fall of 2009, only 55% said they thought being an entrepreneur was a path worthy of recommendation.
AmEx OPEN Small Business Monitor
The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor is drawn from a sample of 933 small business owners and managers with fewer than 100 employees. This survey was conducted from February 22 through March 12, 2013. The results are released twice a year.