According to SmallBizTrends, 3 out 4 of small business reported success last year. Were you one of them? If so, you have some planning to do. If not, you may have some fixing to do.
The Success of Small Businesses is Key to Continued Economic Growth
The success of small businesses is extremely important to the overall economy of the U.S. because of their sheer volume. The Small Business Administration (SBA) puts the number of small businesses at 30.2 million for 2018. In other words, that’s 1 small business for every 5 Americans.
So, What About 2019?
When 3 out of 4 small businesses are growing, that’s great news, right? Yes and No. All economies are cyclical. So, it is important to understand the projected trends as well. As we mentioned in our blog “The Hidden Risk in the Spike of Small Business Optimism”, the forecast for 2019 remains strong.
In fact, “(74%) also say they expect their business to grow in the next six to 12 months. This is a 12% increase from the 2018 survey.” (SmallBizTrends).
Small Business Success is forecasted to continue for 2019 and beyond
The respondents from the 2019 small businesses were optimistic overall about their future, and the future of the economy as a whole.
Confident in Their Small Business Growth
77% say they are confident their business is going to grow in 2019, a 2% increase from 2018. But close to half of those, or 34.2%, say they are very confident.
Confident in the economy
The confidence also extends to the overall economy. More than two thirds (68%) say they are confident about the economic conditions of the U.S. in 2019. The same percentage of owners feel this way for the next two to three years about the U.S. economy.
What are the most common growth strategies for small business success?
Half said “Improving customer satisfaction and loyalty”, which is consistent with our post “Want to Grow Faster than Your Competition? Focus on Your Current Customers”. So, it seems successful businesses are doing just that.
1/2 were expanding their customer base
Slightly less than half said finding new customer segments. In “4 Simple Steps to Write a Successful Marketing Plan”, we discuss some tips on how best to achieve this goal. Expanding your customer base can be challenging if you don’t do it right.
1/3 were providing new products
Similarly, about a third said “creating new products and services”, which is also covered in “4 Simple Steps to Write a Successful Marketing Plan”. But, equally important is to communicate the benefits of these new services.
1/4 were expanding locations
A quarter of businesses are looking to expand to new locations. In our post, “4 Tips for Expanding Your Business into New Markets”, we cover how to do this in detail.
Small business growth requires capital
Regardless of what they plan to implement, in most cases, they will need funding. In “Small Business Lending is Booming”, and “How Not to Sound Stupid When Talking to Banks” we share strategies that can help if you are looking for financing.
In the survey, roughly 4 in 10 are tapping into personal savings to fund growth. Personally, I think that’s a mistake. If they could qualify, they would be better off leveraging those savings as collateral. However, that’s a personal decision each business must make.
What if you were the Quarter of Businesses that Weren’t Successful?
Not everyone wins every year. If you struggled, it’s time to take stock. We suggest that you start back with the basics.
Time to Get Back to Basics for Small Business Success
In “5 Steps to Take When Analyzing Your Business”, we talk about how to take a hard look at your business model to see what’s working and what’s not
Business & Marketing Plans
Once you’ve identified the issues, then it’s time for a new business and marketing plan. Both “4 Simple Steps to Write a Successful Business Plan”, and “4 Simple Steps to Write a Successful Marketing Plan” can help you get started
When writing those, we suggest reading “5 Proven Methods for Accelerating Small Business Growth”, and “5 Ways to Grow Your Business Without Spending a Penny”.
In summary, the outlook for small business success looks good. If you are successful, you should be planning for more growth. See “If You Don’t Plan for Growth Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later”. If you are not, you at least have the wind at your back.