New Survey on Small Business Reports Optimism

A recent opinion survey showed that small businesses are optimistic about 2013. Small businesses that are self-funded, and are known as bootstrapped companies, were the focus of the survey that was held from November 12 to December 5. Out of the 500 executives interviewed, over 40 percent believed the economy will improve over the year in comparison to last year.

The study was done by a private-equity firm, Mainsail Partners, located in San Francisco. Mainsail’s study was originally sent to about 10,000 small businesses, but only 500 surveys were returned. The survey found that most of the bootstrapped companies responding, around 65 percent, expected growth in business and over half were anticipating the need to hire more workers. Mainsail conducted the survey last year and they noted that optimism was lower this year than last, when over 85 percent of responders estimated growth.

But Mainsail co-founder, Gavin Turner noted small business owners happen to be “worriers by their nature, but they’re also optimists, which is what led them to create their businesses in the first place.” The survey found that 70 percent of those surveyed believed the president’s reelection would not sway their investment plans for their business, but a little less than forty percent thought the election outcome would have a negative impact. Turner guessed that “the survey results wouldn’t have been that different, no matter who won the election.”

The numbers that Mainsail’s survey came up with also correlated with the National Venture Capital Association’s annual predictions survey. Overall the small companies that are backed by venture capital are slim, less than one percent, but they are well-monitored. Over 600 venture-backed executives and venture capitalists were interviewed and 42 percent of executives thought the economy would improve while 49 percent of the venture capitalists believed the same. Over 80 percent of those interviewed executives were making plans to hire more employees.

But Turner explained that small business owners have “a determination and an ability to grow, regardless of the economy.”

References:

Leiber, Nick. “Bootstrapped Entrepreneurs Predict Growth in 2013.” Indicators, The New Entrepreneur. Small Business, Bloomberg Businessweek. 01/08/13.