Many Small Business Owners Still See Economy as Biggest Concern

Small business owners have a large amount of concerns about the ways in which their companies are handling themselves. Whether it's worry about the state of the national economy, rising costs for everything from overhead to small business insurance policies, or time constraints, these problems persist even as the recovery continues.

Today, only four in 10 small businesses say they're seeing increased sales despite reports of economic improvement, leading more than 30 percent to list the economy as their primary concern right now, according to a recent survey by CNNMoney and Manta. More than one in five say that their biggest problem is rising costs, and close to 16 percent say that regulations on their industry are their most significant issue. All these issues could prove problematic for many small business owners going forward, particularly if they previously had designs on increasing the size of their companies.

As a result, only 14 percent of those polled said they're planning to add more workers this year than they did in 2012, the report said. On the other hand, about two-thirds said they had no plans to expand hiring at all, and 5.7 percent listed a lack of skilled workers as their largest concern related to their business. Moreover, because of these issues, close to two in three small business owners say they have no plans to seek additional financing, while slightly more than 10 percent felt as though this was their primary concern.

About 8 percent listed healthcare as their companies' primary issue going forward, and just one in 10 polled felt the Affordable Care Act's mandate that they extend coverage to workers when they have 50 or more employees working 30-plus hours per week would be a positive for their business, the report said. Another 38 percent felt the change would actually hurt them, and the rest either didn't know what impact the law would have, or thought it wouldn't have one, either positive or negative.

Small business owners worried about healthcare costs may also face other insurance issues as they try to expand, including rising premiums for workers' compensation or general liability insurance. By shopping around for more affordable coverage in these areas, owners may be able to enjoy more savings to help improve their bottom lines going forward.