July 17, 2009

Business Owners Plan to Grow Despite the Recession

Meredith Maines  /  Inc.com

A recent poll suggests that small business owners are optimistic

Entrepreneurs see the glass half-full when it comes to the recession. According to a random-sample, third-party survey of 1,000 Intuit Payroll customers, 61 percent of the small business owners expect their companies to grow in the next year.

Laurie Sheflin, Intuit's group marketing manager, said this percentage is optimistic even in the face of the belief that the recession will more than likely continue two more years. "It's being realistic about the economy but at the same time, not being downbeat," she said. Of those polled, 57 percent believe now is a good time to further invest in their business.

Sheflin said even though the survey didn't dig deeply enough to find how the funding to invest would appear, Intuit did find that three main categories were the most popular areas for the increased attention: advertising and marketing, employee training and development as well as new equipment. Newer and smaller business showed more likelihood to invest compared to their more established counterparts.

"They are often just getting started and have high hopes and clear goals for growth," she said. "Growth is an important metric for them." But in order to grow, these same business owners won't be relying on government hand-outs, with 84 percent of the sample subscribing to the belief that the economic stimulus plan won't directly benefit or help grow their business in the coming year.

Sheflin said this sentiment may be a byproduct of the entrepreneurial spirit. "They're a very self-reliant group," she said of the business owners, 98 percent of which haven't yet received money from the government's plan. "They're very confident they'll survive, even in hard times."