After completing a survey of small business entrepreneurs in the US, it seems the American Dream is alive and well. Almost three-quarters of US small business owners are optimistic about growth in 2015. What’s more, two-thirds of entrepreneurs are prioritizing customer growth and one third plan to invest in technology. This indicates that 2015 will be a year of continued economic recovery.
What do US small businesses value?
While hacking scandals and ethics controversies rock big businesses, small business owners are prioritizing honesty and respect as guiding business values. It’s no surprise then, that close to 20 percent of respondents aspire to be more like Ben & Jerry’s than tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft or Google. Only 1.6 percent named Uber as their role model – the least aspirational of all companies named.
‘Millennial’ small business owners quicker to adopt new trends
Leading the charge toward the optimistic and ethically conscious small business are the tech-savvy millennials. An overwhelming 90 percent of are optimistic about growth in the coming year, compared to 74 percent of total respondents.
Millennials also feel more comfortable with the cloud. Over half report at least 25 percent of their business runs in the cloud – compared to just 23.5 percent of all respondents. And the majority of millennials (80 percent) use Facebook for their business, with only 40.4 percent of total respondents claiming to lean on the social media giant.
When looking at all this data it’s quite clear where businesses see themselves in the very near future. Social media and the cloud are becoming the norm with younger business owners, and doing business fairly wins out over growth at the expense of ethics.
What’s next for US small business?
The next stage for many of these business owners will be executing on their plans for growth. However, this is where we found a discrepancy in the results. While most businesses said they planned for growth, 80 percent said they have little need for new staff this year. Typically growing a business and hiring new staff go hand in hand.
This conflicting data could be due to the fact that small businesses don’t have the same level of business performance insights as larger businesses. In-depth insights make hiring and investing decisions easier by showing owners the exact state of their finances at all times. We also found that over 53 percent of respondents say they don’t work with an accountant at all. Knowing when to hire an accountant (and hiring the right accountant) is a key step in taking a business to the next level.
For more information, check out the press release we put out today:
And take a look at the infographic we created: