Tag Archive for 'SBA Poll'

SBA Poll Results: Generational Gap

The Question:
Are differences in communicating and expectations between the generations a problem in the workplace today?

26% - Yes, it’s a big problem and getting worse.

3% - It’s been a big problem but is getting better.

51% - We’ve had some issues, but we’re managing it.

21% - No, it’s not a problem and never has been.

My Comments:
The challenge of effective communication between the different generations is not a new issue. Indeed, it’s been going on for millennia. But we’re just now in a time when there are more generations in the workplace than any other time in my career. So we wanted to know how things are today with our poll question last week.

Frankly, I was surprised by the results you see above. I’ll have more to say about this in the Feature Article next week. Stay tuned and thanks for participating.

SBA Poll Results: What is your greatest challenge?

The Question
What is your greatest challenge right now for your business?

58% - It’s simple: we need more sales.

8% - We’re growing but can’t find qualified people to hire.

24% - High taxes and onerous regulations.

8% - Obamacare has really complicated our benefits strategy.

3% - We need a business loan from a bank.

My Comments:
As you can see, the usual suspects showed up as the top challenges of small businesses. I’m going to have more to say about all of these responses in my Feature Article next week, as I break down the meaning of each one. Stay tuned and thanks for participating.


SBA Poll Results: Will you need a tax extension?

The Question:
With tax filing dates coming up, March 15 for corporations and April 15 for everyone else, will you file on time or use an extension?

59% - We will file our business and personal returns on time, without extension.

34% - We will file extensions

7% - Still undecided

My Comments
Once upon a time if you needed an extension, you had to go to the IRS office, get the form upon which you would explain why you needed more time, get it postmarked before midnight March 15 for corporations and April 15 for all others, and hope it was approved. Today, all you have to do is go to IRS.gov before the same dates, fill out the form, click submit and, ba-da-bing-ba-da-bam, your extension is filed and accepted.

It’s interesting that when we asked a similar question last year, the response was almost exactly the same as today. I think it speaks well of small business owners when six of ten get their tax filing done on time. As for the others, it’s likely their returns are more complicated and require more time, even if just a little. Such is the case for my own business.

But remember, filing an extension doesn’t extend the time to pay taxes owed.

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SBA Poll Results: How is the economy looking for you?

The Question:
With two months of 2014 behind us, how is the economy looking for your business?

5% - So far, 2014 sales are great and expect this to continue.

34% - We’re seeing improvement over last year.

42% - So far, this year is trending no better than last year.

18% - This year is looking worse than last year.

My Comments:
When we asked you about your instincts about the new year in our online poll the first week of January, 60% of you said you were either positive or very positive. Alas, as you can see above, now two months into the new year, less than four in ten small business owners see any signs of economic growth in the early going. With this kind of response from the pathologically optimistic sector that creates over half of the U.S. economy, it looks like anything but a robust recovery continues to be our reality.

Here’s the understatement of the decade: This is starting to get out of hand. Of course I’m talking about what seems to be entrenched malaise on Main Street. Please remember, I’m just commenting on what you report to me. I would much rather be talking about how excited everyone is about the future. I’ll have more to say about this in an upcoming Feature Article. Stay tuned and thanks for participating.

SBA Poll Results: How has Obamacare impacted your spending?

The Question:
How has the troubled roll-out of Obamacare this year, and uncertainty about healthcare coverage for next year impacted your holiday spending?

15% - It has had no impact at all. We’re not concerned about it.

38% - We’re somewhat concerned but haven’t adjusted our holiday spending.

31% - We’re concerned, and it has somewhat impacted our holiday spending.

16% - Our concerns about Obamcare have significantly lowered our holiday budget.

My Comments:
Well, less than half of our respondents, 47%, report Obamacare concerns have impacted their holiday spending. But those who confess concern, if not spending restraint, represented 85% of our audience.

Once we were merely concerned about Obamacare based on uncertainty about how it would work. Now we have plenty of troubling evidence that makes the damage of this law less uncertain, and yet there is still so much more to come that we don’t know about in the remaining roll out in 2014. Thus, at this moment, Obamacare has created a kind of double jeopardy–bad news that is real and more uncertainty about what’s yet to come.

One day in the future, when political science and government classes focus on how to create and launch successful political policy, Obamacare will surely be the all-time example of how NOT to do it. In the meantime, Americans are having to live the reality that is Obamacare as the metaphor for an epic fail in government and politics.

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SBA Poll Results: How has Obamacare effected your business?

The Question:
Obamacare was launched October 1. Have you seen a difference in customer attitudes and sales since then?

59% - No, customers aren’t acting differently and sales are the same.

41% - Yes, customer activity and sales are down since Sept.

My Comments:
I asked this question last week because when I have asked small businesses recently about sales, I have gotten comments like, “We were having a decent year, but since the beginning of October, it’s like someone turned off a switch.” So, I wanted to see how pervasive this condition was, and, as you can see from our responses, four-of-ten is pretty significant.

For almost four years, the uncertainty of how bad Obamacare would be has contributed greatly to the slow recovery. Like a perverse gift that keeps on giving, what we now know to be true about Obamacare is having a negative impact on the economy.

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Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!




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