Tag Archive for '2012 Outlook'

Small Business Advocate Poll: How are you feeling about your business in 2012?

The Question:
How are you feeling about your business in 2012?

23% - Excited - it already looks like a good year.

50% - Positive - it’s looking better than last year.

27% - Uncertain - we’re still just hanging on.

Jim’s Comments:
For almost two years, we’ve been polling our audiences (radio/Internet/Newsletter) on how you feel about business prospects. Our last poll is probably the seventh time on this topic. In my career I’ve never seen so much consistence in attitude about the economy over such a long period of time. Last week we asked this question: “How are you feeling about your business in 2012?” Here’s what we learned.

A little less than one-fourth of our respondents said they were, “Excited - it already looks like a good year,” and a little more than one-fourth said they were, “Uncertain - we’re still just hanging on.” The group in the middle, who said they were, “Positive - it’s looking better than last year,” made up half of our sample.

As I indicated in my 2012 predictions, there isn’t going to be any attitude changes on Main Street until after we know who the next president is going to be.

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Small Business Advocate Poll: What’s your 2012 outlook?

The Question:

Are you seeing indications that 2012 will be a better year for business - sales, profit, etc. - than 2011?

52% - Yes

29% - No

19% - Uncertain

My Comments:

Almost 20% said they were still uncertain about next year. And almost one-third said they were certain things were not going to be better next year. But a little over half, 52%, said they were seeing positive growth indicators for next year.

Now, 52% isn’t exactly a rousing expectation of runaway economic expansion, but based on other questions we’ve asked in the past two years along these lines, it does represent a shift in optimism.

And my own experience tracks with the majority here. It does seem that, in the face of plenty of scary things, 2012 could be better than 2011. I’ll have more to say about this soon.

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

Take this week’s poll HERE!

For more great SBA content, click HERE!

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!




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