Intuit’s February 2010 survey of accounting professionals and small business owners shows that business is growing and the future looks bright. More than half (54%) of small businesses experienced growth in the last 12 months; a whopping 87% see opportunities to grow their companies in today’s economy.
The number one growth driver for small businesses, as identified by 73% of owners participating in the survey, is marketing and/or advertising. More than half expect to expand their “range of offerings.”
Other interesting findings:
• 79% of small businesses use technology to expand their customer base
• 60% of small business owners use mobile phone applications to communicate with customers
What are some factors that are helping small business owners see a sunny future?
- Rising consumer confidence. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index in February 2011 is the highest it’s been in three years. The return of the consumer to the marketplace is welcome news to small businesses. Of course, buying habits have changed; many experts say that consumers will not use debt as frivolously as they had prior to the Great Recession.
- New technology opportunities. Affordable and effective tools and applications are being introduced at lightning speed to help small businesses work efficiently and stay connected to customers as never before. See what’s ahead.
What could derail growth?
Unfortunately, things aren’t all good. There are some ominous clouds on the horizon:
- Rising gasoline prices. With uncertainty in many parts of the mid-East and Africa, the price at the pump has already reached $4 a gallon in some parts of the U.S. Higher fuel prices weigh down the bottom line of many companies, especially those that rely heavily on driving and trucking.
- Rising interest rates. Interest rates are starting to creep up after a prolonged period of historic lows. Even the IRS interest rate for overpayments and underpayments is set to rise on April 1, 2011. Companies with lines of credit can expect to pay more on their outstanding debt.
Don’t break out the Dom Perignon just yet, but it may be time to move up from Two Buck Chuck.