Small Business Owners Still Pushing Confidence

The improving economy has brought many Americans to the point that they’re starting to feel much better about their chances for success going forward, and included in that group is small business owners. The latest data shows a pretty substantial uptick in confidence among these entrepreneurs going forward.

In all, the Small Business Optimism Index for July ticked up to a reading of 95.7, from June 95.0, despite the fact that many aspects of the measure didn’t take a huge step forward, according to the latest report from the National Federation of Independent Business. Of course, it should be noted that in spite of these increases in the last few months, there’s still a lot of progress that needs to be made in terms of getting back to the point seen prior to the massive economic downturn several years ago.

“On the positive side expectations for business conditions and outlook for expansion accounted for virtually all of the net gain in July’s Index,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “However, capital spending reports continue to remain mediocre, spending plans are weak, and inventories are too large, with more owners reporting sales trends deteriorating than improving. As long as these stats continue to hold, the small business half of the economy will continue to not be able to pull its weight.”

Job creation remains key
Interestingly, it seems that about 13 percent of all small businesses now plan to increase hiring for new positions in the coming months, up from 12 percent just a few weeks earlier, the report said. That’s also the highest level seen since September 2007, around the time the recession began in earnest. This data is based on future job creation plans and the number of job openings set up by these companies, because while job creation itself took another step forward, that improvement was only moderate in July.

Owners who want to set their companies up for as much success as possible might want to think about how they can do so by reducing expenses. That could include finding more affordable small business insurance policies, because taking the time to shop around for reduced premiums on liability insurance, for instance, could end up saving a firm thousands of dollars annually. That money could then be invested in other aspects of the company, and aid in its future growth.