Optimism among small-business owners is higher today than it has been at any other time since the so-called “great recession,” according to a July poll conducted by Gallup and Wells Fargo Bank.
The companies report that their Small Business Index improved 9 points over the second quarter of 2013 and 36 points over the fourth quarter of 2012, to 25. A major driver of the improvement was “business owner optimism around availability of credit now and in the future.” However, 25 remains well below the index’s highest score of 114, which was hit in the fourth quarter of 2006.
The results are based on a nationwide telephone survey of 603 owners of small businesses with less than $20 million in annual revenues.
Small-business owners contacted by the Intuit Small Business Blog expressed much the same level of optimism. Here’s what they had to say.
Kelly Daugherty, managing partner, Smashing Golf & Tennis:
“Our business has grown exponentially in the past year. We have seen a real return to people wanting to support local, small business and a backlash to the large brands that are becoming out of touch with the end consumer. People ultimately love rooting for the underdog.”
Ryan Sides, lead strategist, Bacon Social Media:
“I’m confident this company will exceed my expectations in terms of revenue in the next two years. We have an opportunity to grow into a large niche retail market that is underserved and is looking for guidance.”
Karon Thackston, president, Marketing Words:
“We are enjoying a 27 percent increase in sales from 2011 to 2012, as well as being on target to exceed our goals for 2013. By adding new services, changing some of our own marketing methods, and creating clearer goals for our company, we have been able to work through the recession and come out a bit smarter on the other side.”
Trevor McKendrick, CEO, Salem Software:
“People are opening their wallets again. Banks are lending, housing prices are going up, and collectively the country isn’t thinking about the crappy economy anymore.”
Chris Costello, principal, CBG Benefits:
“We have more qualified leads than ever before, and our client communication program is stronger than ever. I have no doubt that this will lead to better customer acquisition and retention in the months and years to come.”
Hope Katz Gibbs, president, Inkandescent Group:
“Not only are we seeing more clients come to us in recent months for PR help … we’re seeing a stronger determination from the entrepreneurs we represent to invest in themselves and their businesses.”
How about you? Are you expecting great things ahead from your small business?