Many polls of small business owners across the country in the last few years have shown that entrepreneurs are generally growing more optimistic about their companies’ chances for success. That trend has certainly continued into the holiday shopping season – generally one of the busiest times of year for retailers of all sizes – and owners now believe they could see a big uptick in the final months of the year.
Today, 57 percent of small business owners say that they think conditions for their companies are either excellent or good, up from 47 percent who felt the same way last year, according to the latest survey from Capital One. Meanwhile, 43 percent say they’ve seen increased sales over the last six months, an increase from 32 percent. Further, 71 percent say that they expect to see sales either hold steady or increase in the rapidly approaching holiday season.
“This is an important time for small businesses as they prepare for the holiday season and a new year – and it’s encouraging to see many are feeling optimistic about conditions and expectations, and are planning for the future,” said Keri Gohman, head of small business banking at Capital One. “Business leaders are hungry for new ways to drive sales while streamlining costs.”
Plans for future growth?
Meanwhile, more than 1 in 4 small business nationwide say they plan to hire more workers in the next 12 months, the report said. And at the same time, nearly 1 in 3 say they plan to do that in the next six months alone, up from 29 percent in the same quarter last year. Moreover, it seems owners are growing increasingly generous to their current employees, as 46 percent say they’ll boost salaries and wages alike in 2015. Those employees will also likely be better prepared for the future, as 33 percent say they plan to spend more on training their workers next year.
However, only 24 percent of such companies currently offer their workers retirement plans that will help them save for their golden years, the report said. That number hasn’t changed at all in the last year.
Owners who want to free up a little more money in their budgets to help give their workers a bigger piece of the pie, either in terms of higher salaries or new hires, might want to consider the benefits of finding more affordable small business insurance. Cutting costs for commercial insurance, for instance, could end up saving them thousands annually.