A growing number of small businesses anticipate their revenues will either improve or stabilize this year, according to a new survey.
The survey of 300 small businesses on the East Coast, by TD Bank, found that 74 percent believe they will meet or exceed revenue projections in the first quarter of 2012. This indicates increasing confidence, as 61 percent of the survey respondents said they either met or exceeded their revenue projections during the last quarter of 2011.
Forty-eight percent of the small business owners polled said they are optimistic about the U.S. economy, and most are committed to investing in their business. Eighty-five percent of the small business owners surveyed said they plan to keep their staffing levels the same over the next quarter, with 20 percent looking to hire at least one employee, and 80 percent planning to maintain or increase capital investments up to 15 percent or more.
“The words ‘cautious optimism’ are what we’ve been hearing from our small business customers when discussing their early 2012 outlook,” said Fred Graziano, head of commercial regional banking, government banking and small business at TD Bank, in a statement. “Despite feeling somewhat uneasy about the U.S. economy, many are hopeful that they are in a position to boost their revenue stream and possibly invest in their business in the upcoming months.”
Aside from economic uncertainty, 25 percent of the small business owners surveyed said they believe cash flow management will be the biggest challenge in the first half of 2012, while 19 percent cited lackluster sales, 15 percent cited expense management, and 12 percent were concerned about increased competition. The remaining concerns were debt management (9 percent), working longer hours (9 percent), access to credit (7 percent) and employee layoffs (3 percent).
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