Small Business Owners Remain Confident But Don’t Lean Toward Hiring

The past few years have largely been good ones for small businesses nationwide, and many companies have benefited from the ongoing economic recovery. That, in turn, has led many owners to feel better about their chances for success going forward. However, many haven’t gotten so far ahead of their expectations that they’re once again ready to bring on more workers.

Today, more than 3 out of every 4 small business owners say that they think of themselves and their companies as successful, up from 70 percent who felt the same way a year ago, according to the latest Small Business Success Study from The Hartford. In addition, 35 percent of respondents felt so good that they described themselves as either “very” or “extremely” successful. However, the results weren’t all positive for these entrepreneurs.

Which issues persist?
Despite the overall good feelings about their companies, about 2 in every 3 owners also reported that that they haven’t been able to hire in the last year, and that number is up from 64 percent a year earlier, the report said. On a more granular level, 57 percent of owners who specifically rated themselves as successful likewise did not add staff.

This, however, could have been due to a number of factors, with the most commonly cited including an inability to work more employees into their current budgets, a lack of growth, and the fact that owners simply couldn’t take on more duties than they already had, the report said. In addition, another 39 percent of those polled said that they think the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have a negative impact on their companies, and specifically will prevent them from hiring more people going forward.

Other financial issues persisted for many entrepreneurs as well, the report said. Many were so much of an issue that people had to lean on somewhat concerning financial sources to keep their companies going along smoothly over the last year. That includes 36 percent who said they used their own money to do so (such as by dipping into their savings or retirement accounts), or relying on friends and family. Meanwhile, just 31 percent said they were able to obtain credit through a bank.

Owners who want to best position their firms for success should think about ways to cut costs, such as by finding more affordable small business insurance. By shopping around for errors and omissions insurance, for instance, they may be able to save thousands annually.