Uncertainity in Economic Recovery Tampers SMBs Confidence: Administaff Survey

Posted on January 7, 2011 by

According to Business Staff Survey by Admin staff, SMBs in U.S are less confident about the economic recovery. 61% of small business owners are not sure about the economic recovery untill 2011 or later, 18% feel that they can expect some positive turn in economy in 2010 and 20 percent are unsure.

The short-term concerns affecting small business owners, 78% of business owners listed economy as their major short-term concern (up from 71 percent in April), 53% citing government health care reform, 46% specifying rising health care costs and 40 percent listing controlling operating costs.

The longer-term concerns affecting small businesses are, potential tax increases with 70.7%, 70.3% were concerned about government expansion and the effect on business, 67.9% cited economy and 67.7% cited federal deficit and the total national debt.

When asked about the developments in businesses for the rest of 2010, 48% of survey respondents expected a sales increase, (from 55% in April and 48% last October); 31% say it will not be affected and sale will remain same, while 12 % anticipated decreasing sales (up from 7 percent last April); and 8 percent were unsure.

In addition, 65% of owners and managers of SMBs said that they are meeting and exceeding their 2010 performance plans (decrease from 72% in last survey), while the remaining 35 % said that they performing worse than expected.

The survey also released compensation data of more than 5,600 small and medium-sized businesses. Compared to the 2009 second quarter data, average compensation, bonuses and commissions were up by 2.1%, 11.2%, and 0.4% respectively. Overtime pay is still low, at 8.2 % of regular pay, less than 10% level generally indicates a need for additional employees.

The survey also said that 62% of participants planned to maintain the same compensation levels throughout 2010, 21% plan to increases, 5% expected decreases and 12 percent were unsure.

When asked about their profit-generating activities being implemented currently, 70% of participants listed selling new accounts as the leading strategy(it was 73% in April), followed by 66% naming increased service to clients, 40% said they were adding new services or products (52% in April), while 34 percent of survey respondents listed negotiating with vendors, and 25 percent named investing in new improvements as fifth.

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