According to a recent survey by Kabbage, access to capital is amongst the top growth concerns for nearly half of small businesses.
However, small business optimism is at a 3 year high, with 95 percent of small business owners expecting to increase their revenue in 2015. According to Kabbage half of these businesses expect to grow by more than 20 percent.
Top issues surrounding growth for more than 800 companies surveyed include access to capital and ongoing cash flow management.
According to Jon Parise, director of customer marketing at Kabbage “Many small businesses need a fast and flexible way to get funding to grow their business. The traditional path that banks lay out to get capital is slow, involves a lot of paperwork, and even if you manage your way through that process, many small businesses still get turned away. Despite this he said that “Small business owners are highly optimistic and have big ideas on how to grow their business.”
The majority of small businesses intend to grow by launching new products and services and by investing in marketing and services. More than 50 percent said that they will begin to use social media marketing in 2015. Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining attention through social media sites, such as Twitter or Facebook. The results from the survey also indicate businesses will turn to bootstrapping and alternative funding providers.
“Social media is exceptionally alluring for small business owners because it’s a way to build and connect with advocates and community”, according to Parise. “When competing against larger competitors and corporations, small businesses really excel at highlighting the small capability of a business by having personal conversations and interactions that elevate a purchasing experience. This is something larger corporations can’t provide in quite the same way small businesses can.”
The survey also revealed that being a small business owner is an around-the-clock job with 52 percent of small business owners reporting that they work more than 60 hours per week. 30 per cent of respondents said they expect to work even more hours in 2015.
Furthermore many small business owners reported postponing vacations, using personal savings, and cutting personal expenses, all in the effort to grow their businesses. However, many are working to achieve more work-life balance, with 40% of respondents saying they expect to make fewer sacrifices in 2015 than in 2014.
Is your small business feeling optimistic for 2015? How do you intend to grow your business this year?