SMBs Bullish(er) For 2013

According to the recent Business Confidence Survey by Insperity, small business owners are showing a willingness to hire more employees amidst signs of expanding business activity. More than 40% of respondents say they are adding employees, up from 28% last October; 55% are maintaining current staffing levels, versus 63% last fall; and 5% are laying off employees, down from 9% in October.

74% of respondents said that they are either meeting or exceeding their 2013 performance plans, up from 71% in the last survey, though 26% report that they are doing worse than expected. 28% think an economic rebound is currently in process (April, 2013) versus 20% last fall.

Paul J. Sarvadi, Insperity’s chairman and chief executive officer, observes that “... business owners are slowly beginning to implement business plans... (to) take advantage of... coming economic opportunities... (though) a significant number of respondents express continuing concerns about the negative impact of governmental policies on business activity... ”

The economy leads the list of short-term concerns of 62% of business owners, while government health care reform, and rising health care costs, are tied for second on the list at 51%, followed by hiring the right people, at 42%.

Longer-term, 63% indicate they are either very concerned or have elevated concerns about potential tax increases. Federal deficit and the total national debt ranked second, government expansion and its effect on business was third, and the economy dropped to fourth place, down sharply from last October.

When asked about new business through 2013:

  • 59% of survey respondents expect sales to increase
  • 28% anticipate no change
  • 7% predict decreasing sales
  • 7% are unsure

Finally, other 2013 expectations discovered in the study:

  • 59% of participants expect to maintain employee compensation at current levels through 2013
  • 26% plan increases
  • 67% listed increased service to existing clients as the leading profit-generating strategy
  • 66% cited selling new accounts.
  • 50% said they were adding new services or products versus 44% last fall
  • 31% listed negotiating with vendors.

The survey, conducted in April, 2013, of more than 4,840 chief executive officers, chief financial officers and other executives in a variety of U.S. industries, indicates the overall sampling error of the national survey is +/- 4.25% at the 95% confidence level.

For more information about the study, please visit here.



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