Small Business Owners Still Struggle with Economy, Sales

The economic recovery has, for the most part, been a boon to small businesses over the last few years in particular. However, many owners still believe the country has a long way to go before the recovery is fully realized, and still struggle with many aspects of operating normally.

Perhaps the biggest issue facing these companies is that it’s still very difficult to handle the overall economic picture across the country, according to a new poll from CNNMoney and Manta. In all, 28 percent of entrepreneurs cite this as their companies’ most formidable challenge. Another 21 percent say sales still remain sluggish and need to be boosted. Another 18 percent say that government regulation remains an issue for their firms, while 15 percent say access to credit is still problematic. Often, success with one area of these concerns does not mean it will come across the board, however.

“We’ve done well as a small business, [and] banks are willing to lend us money,” Victoria Aguilar, the founder of a small law and consulting firm, told the news organization. “But is it safe to bring on another employee? It’s a hard decision. There was a point in time where I wouldn’t have been so reluctant. We’re not entirely certain that the customer base is willing to spend money. People are trying to solve their own problems.”

What else is a point of concern?
In addition to these more significant issues that many owners face, 5 percent each also say that they’re still having trouble hiring, or that health care concerns remain front of mind in their daily operations, the report said. Interestingly, another 8 percent said they had no response to what was plaguing their firms most often.

But all these concerns might translate into big changes for the political landscape in the U.S., the report said. Nearly 3 in 5 small business owners say that they’re planning to vote for a non-incumbent candidate in this fall’s upcoming elections, and that could have a major impact on the political pressures they might have been concerned with, such as regulation, taxation, and so on.

Owners who want to position their companies for success might also want to consider the benefits of finding ways to reduce their own internal costs, such as by finding more affordable small business insurance. Cutting costs for liability insurance, for instance, could go a long way toward shoring up an enterprise’s bottom line.