Small Business Optimism Up In January
Written by Ken Gaebler
Entrepreneurs are more optimistic now than they were in December. But to make real progress this year, there are several strategies small business owners need to implement ASAP.
Small business owners ended last year pessimistic about their companies' prospects in the year ahead. But according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, small business optimism is experiencing a rebound, with many entrepreneurs now optimistic about 2013.
The Small Business Index improved 20 points to +9 in January -- a significant increase from a score of -11 in November. Survey respondents reported feeling generally optimistic about their overall financial situations, revenue, cash flow and jobs heading into the next twelve-month period.
However, achieving real growth in 2013 won't happen automatically. To help business owners capture measurable gains from this year's predicted economic growth, Capital One Small Business offers several cost-savings tips and strategies:
- Ask difficult questions. Familiar patterns can be detrimental to operational efficiency and bottom line profits. Small business owners need to evaluate every aspect of the company and perform an honest assessment of processes and activities that can be improved.
- Make timely payments. In addition to the dollar impact of late fees, late payments have long-term consequences for small businesses because they adversely affect credit ratings. Getting business loans from banks can play an important role in funding your business goals. So if you are struggling to make scheduled payments, be proactive about contacting your lender and making alternative arrangements in order to protect your access to future capital.
- Leverage outside expertise. Many small business owners make the mistake of thinking they can handle marketing and other activities that fall outside their skill sets. Rather than trying to wear every hat in the company, consider outsourcing targeted functions to genuine experts so you can increase the return on your efforts.
- Get a life. You've poured everything you have into your business. But the last thing your company needs is an overworked, burned-out owner. Take a break, go on vacation and nurture a life outside of the business so you can be at the top of your game.
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