Metlife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released the Small Business Index for the second quarter of 2018. The Small Business Index is a survey that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Metlife conducts to check the health and mood of small businesses. For the fifth quarter in a row the index climbed to 68.7, indicating new heights of optimism for small business owners. Business owners work almost double the amount of hours as the typical American worker yet for the most part they are happy with their choice.
Etienne Gillard, CEO of Waleteros says, “Entrepreneurship is not for the faint at heart. I work 18 hours a day and I love it – this is my life. I wake up knowing that I am more than a good dad, good husband, and good friend…. I want to make a solution that is helping millions of people in their daily lives. I want to build the best product that can attend to the financial needs of people, and I won’t stop.”
Technology Helps Lead the Pack
For small businesses it seems technological adoption appears to be linked to stronger outcomes and increased confidence. Small businesses that reported being ahead of the pack when it comes to technology (32%) showed they were in good health while those that admitted feeling that they were behind were also less positive about their overall business health. Businesses that also reported being ahead of the rest technologically were also more likely to report increasing staff.
Local Economic Outlook Is Key
Although the national economic outlook remains positive, it is lower than the first quarter, especially in the south where it dropped 19%. Nevertheless, local economic health is the primary means of measuring the experiences of small businesses and overall, businesses across the country showed increased confidence over last quarter.
Tom Sullivan, Vice President of Small Business Policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says, “Five straight quarters of business optimism shows that small business owners feel the wind at their back and not in their faces, but there is still plenty of work to do. When I’m traveling the country and meeting with small business owners, they’re expressing concerns around general national economic uncertainty and persistent workforce challenges. These are two issues we see across the board at the Chamber and could be affecting small business owners’ national economic sentiment.”
A majority of small business owners expect higher earnings for the fourth quarter in a row, with 62% anticipating an increase in revenue one year from now and 32% of small businesses anticipate increasing staff.
With so much optimism, business owners seem to be ready to expand, hire more personnel and perhaps even begin looking for new ways to fund their growth.