According to the latest American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor conducted in August, 55% of small-business owners are optimistic about near-term business prospects. This is a notable increase from the 45% who said the same when the semi-annual study was last run in March of this year. 763 US-based small-business owners were interviewed in the telephone survey.
Among those businesses reporting growth opportunities for their companies, 44% admitted that these opportunities had come about as a result of less competition in the marketplace.
Yet in spite of the seemingly growing optimism, 63% of respondents still do not think the worst of the US economic difficulties are over. 17% of the small-business owners claim they risk going out of business within the next six months. 68% said they are “stressed out” by the current economy and, for 31%, it has caused them to question their decision to become entrepreneurs in the first place.
A similar study which we conducted recently for Business Link in London among small business owners there also showed optimism remaining high for the next 12 months. In spite of feeling the effects of the credit crunch, a half of business owners that we spoke to are looking to fuel growth through ramping up marketing activity, 4 out of 10 are looking to diversify into new markets, and a third are looking to launch new products.
If you are the owner of an SME in London, we’d love to hear from you. To take part in future waves of this important study, please e-mail us and include your name, company name and London borough where your business is based.