Pepperdine’s Crystal Ball: 2012 Small Business Insights

by | US Economic News

You’re more optimistic in the prospects of your own business than you are in the economy as a whole. Still, you likely won’t give your employees raises this year, and there’s a 50-50 chance you expect to pay more to yourself.

At least that’s how it appears in the 2012 Economic Forecast conducted by Pepperdine University in partnership with Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.

More than 3,100 small and medium sized business owners from across the U.S. responded to the survey. Data was collected from January 4-11, from companies in more than ten industry categories. Overall, respondents were cautiously optimistic about better times in 2012.

The survey found that 54% of business owners are at least somewhat more confident about growth of their businesses. Only 20% are less confident about business growth.

Businesses plan modest hiring increases. Forty-three percent won’t add any jobs in the next 12 months, while 31% will add one or two jobs. Most think the unemployment rate won’t drop to 6% until 2014 or 2015.

For those that are working, 43% of respondents gave their employees raises last year, and 42% will increase pay in 2012. Fifty percent of business owners expect to make more money themselves this year, while 38% expect to take home less.

In order to spur job growth, 30% said that increased access to capital would be most beneficial, while 28% mentioned regulatory reform as the key.

Other findings from the forecast include:

  • Top line growth beats cost-reductions when it comes to growing a company. When asked about plans to increase the value of the business, respondents said that increasing revenue through sales of existing products and services (46%) and increasing revenues through sales of new products and services (33%) were key. Reducing non-labor costs (15%) and reducing labor costs (7%) were mentioned less often.
  • When comparing barriers to economic growth, respondents are just as worried about big government as they are about a sputtering economic recovery. Thirty-one percent mentioned government regulations and taxes as problems, while 30% were concerned about the U.S. economic climate. The global economy (20%) and limited access to capital (19%) were also notable factors.
  • On the political and policy front, when asked which policies they supported to bolster the economy, 78% of businesses agreed that a balanced U.S. government budget and 63% agreed further extensions of reduced payroll tax periods would help get the U.S. economy going.

Interestingly, when asked about their best prospects for raising business capital in 2012, respondents named possibilities in 14 different categories, from bank loans (43%) to friends and family (14%) to pawn shops (1%).

There is another option. Invoice factoring from MP Star Financial can help put working capital in your account almost immediately. Factoring is secure, safe, easy to set-up, and will allow you to concentrate on your business rather than stressing over accounts receivable.

Call MP Star Financial for more information at (800) 833-3765 extension 150.

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For more specifics about invoice factoring, visit MP Star Financial online or schedule time to talk with a representative. Don’t wait 30 to 45 days for payment. MP Star can get funds to your account faster. Call MP Star Financial today at (877) 292-1904, extension 150.