Mar 28, 201202:50 PMBlog

Survey reveals cautious optimism for small business owners

Mar 28, 2012 - 02:50 PM
The third annual "Brother Small Business Survey" shows a decline in small business owners feeling the need to store away money in case of another economic downturn. This year's survey found that 44 percent of small business owners believe stockpiling cash is the better option than investing in their business now, which is down from 54 percent last year and 53 percent in 2010.

In 2010, 36 percent of owners were looking to invest in their businesses' growth. This increased last year to 44 percent but has dropped back to 38 percent in 2012 as owners take a "wait-and-see" approach to their business. According to the survey, more female business owners (44 percent) are apt to invest in their business now compared to 35 percent of males. Nearly half of men (48 percent) feel the need to stockpile cash, compared to 36 percent of women.

Forty-three percent of small business owners felt 2011 turned out worse than expected and it showed in their stress levels.  Up three percent from last year's findings, more than half (55 percent) of owners say  their stress levels are higher than usual due to the current economic climate, and almost a quarter (24 percent) believe their stress is at its highest ever.

Opinions are mixed on what small business owners expect for 2012. While 59 percent believe 2012 will be a better year than 2011, 72 percent are not confident that the federal government will be able to adequately improve the economy this year.

Of the small business owners who predict a worse 2012, 21 percent say the overall economy will be worse and 17 percent say continued economic uncertainty makes it hard to make plans. However, of the 59 percent of small business owners who think 2012 will be better, nearly one-third (30 percent) feel that this is because the overall economy will be better this year.


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