Six in Ten Small Business Owners in the U.S. Are Optimistic About Their Finances in 2017

Technology Seen to Have the Most Positive Impact on Business

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New York, NY – The majority of adults who own a small business in the U.S. (defined here as owning a business that employs from 1 to 500 employees) describe having positive financial expectations when thinking about their business in the year ahead, with 60% saying that they expect business to improve, according to a recent online study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of New York Life. On the other hand, another one in five (22%) expect business to stay the same, while slightly smaller proportions (19%) believe their business’ financial situation will worsen.

  • Younger business owners (63%, under 55), those who are not married (66%), and those who have been operating their business for less than a year (71%) are among the most likely to report having an optimistic attitude when asked about their financial expectations for 2017.

Technology is predicted as having the most positive impact on small businesses, with three quarters (75%) of small business owners believing that this area will have a constructive effect on their business in the year ahead. The majority are also confident that the new political landscape (57%), the employment market/ talent pool (56%), interest rates (54%), and health insurance (53%) will all have a positive impact on their business in 2017. Looking at the demographic differences that emerge here, it is men, adults under the age of 35, higher income earners ($50,000 or more), those from the Northeast, those with children living at home, those with a college degree, those who have owned their business for 10 years or less, and those who employ at least 51 employees that stand out as being significantly more likely to see all of these areas as having a positive impact on their business in 2017.

Business Plans for the New Year

When thinking about different business strategies, two thirds of small business owners say that they plan to both better incorporate mobile technologies in their business (66%) and also network more with business owners and/ or professionals (64%) in 2017. Just over six in ten also say that they plan to grow their company by doing things such as opening another location, increasing revenues, expanding capabilities, etc. (62%), while seeking additional capital (55%) and hiring more employees (52%) is also top of mind for the majority of small business owners.

  • Such strategies are much more likely to be top of mind for men, adults between the ages of 18-34, higher income earners, parents, those with a college degree, those who have owned their business for 1-6 years, and those who have at least 51 employees working for them.

Furthermore, over half of those surveyed plan to seek or utilize assistance from a financial professional for their business needs (55%) as part of their business plan for 2017. Among those seeking professional assistance, working with a current partner is more appealing versus seeking out a new financial professional or partner (56% vs. 44%, respectively).

Other business strategies such as planning to improve their employee benefits package (49%) or taking out a loan (46%) are not as prevalent, although nearly half nevertheless agree that they are considering these when thinking about their outlook for 2017.

When it comes to educating themselves to better protect their business, nearly eight in ten say that they would be interested in learning more about ways to minimize their taxes (79%), while another seven in ten would be interested in learning to build an emergency fund/ reserve (71%). Interest in learning more about these things is especially pronounced when looking at younger business owners (ages of 18-34), the more affluent, those with a college degree, those who have been running their business for less than 10 years, and those who employ at least 51 employees. As reported by Fit Small Business with the US entering a new governmental direction changes are to be expected. Understanding these implications suggest being proactive in protecting your business.

Additional information including findings and methodology is available for download on the right side of the page.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
202-420-2025
Chris.Jackson@ipsos.com

Marie-Pierre Lemay
Account Manager
Ipsos Public Affairs
613-793-1622
Marie.Lemay@ipsos.com

About Ipsos

Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry. With a strong presence in 87 countries, Ipsos employs more than 16,000 people and has the ability to conduct research programs in more than 100 countries. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is controlled and managed by research professionals. They have built a solid Group around a multi-specialist positioning – Media and advertising research; Marketing research; Client and employee relationship management; Opinion & social research; Mobile, Online, Offline data collection and delivery. Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999.

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Six in Ten Small Business Owners in the U.S. Are Optimistic About Their Finances in 2017

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Contact

Chris Jackson
Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1.202.420.2025
chris.jackson@ipsos.com
Marie-Pierre Lemay
Account Manager
Ipsos Public Affairs
613-793-1622
marie.lemay@ipsos.com