WASHINGTON, D.C. — While coin laundry owners have been challenged recently by higher utility rates, other small businesses are also facing a host of challenges, according to the National Small Business Assn. (NSBA) 2007 State of Small Business survey.
The survey explores the state of the small-business community and business owners’ opinions on a broad range of topics including economic outlook, employee and labor issues, financing, technology and public policy.
What concerns your fellow small-business owners? After unease about the economy’s future (42%), the cost of health insurance (39%) and a lack of available capital (31%) topped small-business concerns.
While 58% of small-business owners offered health insurance to their employees 10 years ago, that figure has dropped to 41% this year.
Even while many business owners have a dim view of today’s economy, the vast majority (81%) have a bright outlook for their own prospects. The majority of small businesses expect gross revenues (68%) and net profits (65%) to increase in the next 12 months.
In American Coin-Op’s 2007 State of the Industry survey, 60% of the respondents expected business to be the same in 2007 as it was in 2006. Thirty-one percent expected business to increase in 2007.
When asked how they plan to grow their businesses, advertising and marketing strategies topped the list (54%) followed by expanded use of the Internet (35%) and hiring new employees (28%).
Aggressive coin laundry owners are always thinking about new equipment or opening a new store. Getting financing can be tricky. The NSBA survey shows that small businesses are finding it more difficult to obtain adequate financing. Ten years ago, 24% percent of business owners reported that they were not able to obtain adequate funding. In 2007, 33% cited this concern.
The smallest businesses, those with four or fewer employees, are most likely to turn to credit cards to fund their operations. Most businesses using a credit card to fund their business (71%) carry a balance from month to month. And, of those businesses, 36% carry a balance in excess of $10,000.
The survey, conducted by national polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, sampled 500 small and mid-sized businesses from a wide variety of industries. The survey captured truly small businesses with most respondents (55%) having one to four employees.