The national economic situation has been improving for some time now and the fact of the matter is that it has helped many small business owners to get back on the right track in terms of their abilities to see their companies grow and succeed. Now, the positive movements over the last few years seem to be picking up so much steam that many entrepreneurs are actually expecting them to continue on through the end of the year.
Small businesses seem poised to improve over the course of 2014 in a number of ways, not the least of which are the prices they expect to be able to charge for their goods or services, as sales once again picked up in the final three months of last year, according to a report from the National Association for Business Economics. Moreover, about three in four said that they think real growth in the gross domestic product will rise to more than 2 percent, with most of those percent believing it will fall between 2.1 and 3 percent.
Positive movements late last year
Again, these positive expectations seem related to the growth seen in the final three months of 2013, the report said. For instance, more than a third of those polled said they saw increased profit margins during that period, marking the second straight quarter in which there was such an increase. In addition, the number of owners that had rising sales figures came to 63 percent, the highest level seen throughout 2013, and only 9 percent of respondents saw drops in this regard.
“The outlook for 2014 is strengthening,” said NABE president Jack Kleinhenz, principal and chief economist at Kleinhenz and Associates. “Results from NABE’s January 2014 Industry Survey suggest that economic growth accelerated to a moderate pace during the fourth quarter of 2013 from its modest pace the previous quarter. Respondents report that strengthened sales growth was more widespread during the last quarter of 2013 than in the third quarter. Profit margins increased at more firms as fewer panelists reported rising materials costs.”
Owners who want to best position their companies for success in the coming year might want to consider the ways in which their expenses might be trimmed, such as by reducing costs for small business insurance. Finding more affordable commercial insurance or other such coverage might go a long way toward streamlining companies’ budgets overall.