Growth Expected for Small Businesses in 2015

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    In 2014, small business owners predicted that they would have a good year with growth, according to a study by BMO Harris Bank. It looks like they predict 2015 to be an even better year. Online small business loan provider, Kabbage, 95 percent of small businesses surveyed “expect to grow their revenue in 2015” and 50 percent predicted that growth to be greater than 20 percent. Only 3 percent felt revenue would be “flat,” and a paltry 2 percent predicted a decrease in revenues.

    As reported by SmallBizDaily, the survey revealed that small businesses across the board feel optimistic about company growth for this year. In fact, 70 percent of respondents will increase product offerings and 52 percent will invest more money in marketing efforts, including social media, mobile marketing, search engine optimization and content marketing.

    Kabbage Co-Founder and CEO Rob Frohwein feels that this survey spells good news for the U.S. economy and workforce:

    “Small businesses employ 57 percent of the U.S. workforce, so the fact that the majority of them are planning for such a robust 2015 is a strong positive signal for the overall economy. We are proud to be the financial backbone behind tens of thousands of businesses as they invest to drive growth in 2015 through hiring, capital investment, new facilities, and marketing and product expansion.”

    The survey also uncovered some concerns that small business owners have. For 48 percent of respondents, a big concern is having “access to capital” to help grow business. Another 53 percent felt that “cash flow management” was their number one concern. Of course, the majority of those surveyed said they would use “bootstrapping” and financial providers such as Kabbage to gain access to money for growth. Surprisingly, “only 14 percent plan to go to traditional banks.”

    Twenty-six percent identified concerns about having a decent work/life balance. This was reiterated in the results where 46 percent had canceled vacation plans because of the business and 52 percent said they had cut their personal expenses to help the business. Another 54 percent said they’d used personal savings to help support their businesses, and 33 percent of small business owners admitted to having taken a pay cut.

    But hopefully those days are over for the majority of those surveyed since they seem quite upbeat about the performance of their companies in the coming year. The most optimistic of the industries represented in the survey were consulting and marketing firms and beauty businesses, followed closely by restaurants, home services, manufacturing and transportation and auto.

    Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

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