A survey released Nov. 11 by Administaff found that despite "improving indicators within their own businesses," almost half of small business owners don’t expect the economy to rebound until the end of next year.
Forty-seven percent of small business owners said they expect the economy to turn around in the last six months of 2011, and 21% say it'll happen in the first six months.
Furthermore, the economy is the top short-term concern for 77% of respondents, and 66% said it was a top long-term concern. Other short-term concerns include health care reform (56%), rising health care costs (54%), and controlling operating costs (37%). Taxes are the top long-term issue, with 69% of owners saying potential tax increases were their leading concern. Sixty-seven percent of owners said increased government's affect on business was their top concern, and 65% cited the federal deficit and the total national debt.
While owners are gloomy on the economy overall, business appears to be going well. Average compensation is up 3.2% from the third quarter of 2009, and bonuses are up 14.9%. Commissions increased 8.1%. More than one-third (38%) expect an increase in sales before the end of 2010, and 67% say they are meeting their 2010 performance plans.
When asked about their current profit-generating plans, 70% said they were selling new accounts, and 65% said they were increasing services to existing clients.
Most companies aren't adding to their staff, but 24% are hiring new workers, and just 9% are laying off employees. Fifty-four percent don't anticipate any decreases to employee compensation, while 26% are planning increases and just 1% expect decreases.