Monthly Archive for December, 2011

Small Business Advocate Poll: Suspend business growth plans until after 2012 election?

The Question: How likely are you to suspend business growth plans until after the 2012 election?

45% - Very likely
45% - Not likely
10% - Uncertain

My Commentary:

The U.S. economy will end the year with a GDP growth number of less than 2%. For the past decade, that would be a stellar year for Europe, but for the largest economy on the planet, that’s about half of what we’re capable of.

One of the most plausible reasons given for why the U.S. economy is still languishing is uncertainty. Businesses, especially small businesses, are uncertain about many things: debates about whether to raise taxes; the impact of the new health care law; banking industry issues; growing federal budget deficits and the national debt, just to name a few. Consequently, the logic follows, businesses are playing their risk cards close to the vest.

One of the most common predictions is that the next event that will will cause the pent-up growth pressure to break the dam of uncertainty will be changes in Washington as a result of the next election in November 2012. So we wanted to know how the members of our small business audience would respond to this question: “How likely are you to suspend business growth plans until after the 2012 election?” Frankly, the results were a little surprising.

Those who were “very likely” to postpone growth plans until after the election came in at 45% of our sample. And those who were “not likely” to suspend growth plans came in at the exact same number - 45%. 10% were “uncertain.”

Even though our unscientific online poll didn’t produce the numbers that conventional wisdom would seem to indicate, it is still significant that essentially half of our respondents were putting their growth plans on hold for another year. Plus it corresponds with my earlier point about the economy doing about half as well as it should be.

Check out my recent audio commentary on small business growth plans for 2012. Listen or download.

For more great SBA content, click HERE!

To take this week’s poll, click HERE!

Recapping my 2011 predictions

Here are my 2011 predictions from January 2, what happened and my score.

Prediction: Small business optimism will improve in 2011.
: National polls continue to report flat or decreasing small business optimism; -1.

Prediction: Small businesses will report increased sales and profits for 2011.

Actual: The same polls indicate small businesses are reporting increases, even if only slightly; +1.

Prediction: Small business will not be a significant source of new jobs due in part to new technology options.

Actual: Polls indicate small businesses are adding technology first and employees second; +1.

Prediction: National unemployment will be above 8.5% at year-end.
Actual: Joblessness remains over 9%; +1.

Prediction: The U.S. economy will grow at over 3% GDP for 2011.
Actual: Alas, more irrational exuberance on my part. GDP growth this year will be less than 2%; -1.

Prediction: Inflation will increase in 2011.
Actual: The Consumer Price Index shows 2011 inflation at 3.5%, up from 1.5% in 2010; +1.

Prediction: The disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street will increase.
Actual: Stock prices and Wall Street compensation still do not correspond to the Main Street economy; +1.

Prediction: President Obama’s like/dislike rating will improve by year-end – currently net -2.3%.
Actual: Current polls have the president at -15% (Rasmussen 43% positive - 19% negative); -1.

Prediction: Congress’ approval rating will improve - currently net -54.4% (19.6% positive, minus 74.0% negative).
Actual: Congress barely squeaked out an increase, with a net -54%; +1.

Prediction: VP Biden will not be on Obama’s second term ticket.
Actual: Jocular Joe has not been jettisoned for Hillary – yet; -1.

Prediction: Newt Gingrich will lead all GOP polls by year-end.
Actual: Newt is now leading in almost all polls – who else saw this coming?+1.

Prediction: Sarah Palin will not run for president.
Actual: Palin the endorser, not the candidate; +1.

Prediction: Obama’s greatest accomplishment, his healthcare bill, will become a political albatross.
Actual: Multiple defects in Obamacare and pending constitutional challenges are a big part of the president’s negatives; +1.

Prediction: Auburn beats Oregon for the BCS Championship.
Actual: Auburn 22, Oregon 19; +1.

That’s 10 for 14 in 2011, improving my 11-year record to 70.4%.

I talked about my 2011 prediction results today on The Small Business Advocate Show. Click here for the links to listen or download.

Check out other great SBA content HERE!

Small Business Advocate Poll: Corruption and Collusion between Wall Street and Washington

The Question: What, if any, do you think is the level of corruption and collusion between Wall Street and Washington, D.C.?

72% - Extreme
24% - Somewhat
4% - None

My Commentary:

We wanted to know what our online, radio and ezine audiences thought about this issue, so recently, we asked this question: “What, if any, do you think is the level of corruption and collusion between Wall Street and Washington, D.C.?” Here’s what we learned:

Only four percent of our sample said there was no hanky-panky between Washington and Wall Street, while about one-fourth said it was “somewhat” likely. But 72% of you said that the level of corruption and collusion between our elected representatives and the financial elites was “extreme.”

For more great SBA cotent, click HERE!

To take this week’s poll, click HERE!

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