The recent economic recovery made over the last few years in particular has been a boon to millions of small businesses nationwide, and while the steps forward haven’t been felt across the board, the majority of owners now find themselves and their companies in a much better position these days. As a result, they also have a better feeling about their chances for success in the future.
Small business owners’ optimism rose in the second quarter of the year to a rating of plus-47, up from plus-45 three months earlier, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, an examination of independent company owners’ feelings about their current situations and chances over the next year. That’s the highest level seen since 2008, but well below the numbers seen prior to the financial downturn, when optimism was routinely rated in the 100s.
“U.S. small business owners continue to recover from the major body blows suffered during the Great Recession,” Gallup wrote. “Owners’ assessments of both their present situation and expectations for the future have recovered from lows registered in previous years, and the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index is now as high as it has been since 2008. However, attitudes have yet to recover to where they were pre-recession, and even if the current rate of improvement continues, it will be a long time until owners regain the optimism levels of 10 years ago.”
Feelings about the future
Interestingly, though, the way small business owners view their current situations is actually down somewhat, falling to a plus-14 rating from the previous plus-15, the report said. Meanwhile, expectations for future improvement actually skyrocketed despite the downturn in current standing, rising to plus-33, and coming to the highest level seen since the start of 2008.
Part of that might be because it’s now widely considered to be easier to get credit than it was in the past, the report said. Today, 32 percent of owners say that it’s easy to obtain credit, and 37 percent more say that conditions are average, meaning that just 26 percent believe it’s actually difficult for companies to receive financing from lenders.
Owners who want to make sure they’re in the best possible position to succeed will likely have to trim some of the fat from their balance sheets. That could include finding more affordable small business insurance policies, such as those for consultant insurance, which could potentially cut thousands of dollars in costs annually and consequently their bottom lines.