Survey shows small business owners remain positive, but not hiring right away

The good news: The majority of small business owners are positive thinkers, have mentors and pay themselves a salary.

The not-so-good news: Fewer than one-third plan on hiring new employees in the coming months.

Those and other findings were announced today as part of the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor. And for the first time, a new category has been included.

Here’s more about small business owners according to the survey:

Their top priority is maintaining current business and sources of revenue (32%), hiring plans have dipped slightly from 35 percent in the spring to 29 percent currently, and just under a quarter (24%) say they have no plans to grow their businesses over the next six months.

For the first time in the history of the survey, American Express has included a Success Index that aims to identify the strategies and tactics most closely associated with successful entrepreneurs. Based on growth and other criteria, the Index deconstructs what has made some small businesses successful and then draws correlations to their philosophical approaches and specific tactics they deploy. The “high achiever” group represents just six percent of the total survey population.

Key differentiators and potential learnings from these high achievers include:

  • They ask for advice: Nearly six-in-ten have a business mentor (59%, versus 33% of the total population)
  • They leverage social media: Seven-in-ten use social media (70% versus 49% overall)
  • More than three-quarters (78%) ask their customers for advice on how to better service them (versus 52% overall)
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) ask for new client referrals (versus 53% overall)
  • They’re positive thinkers: More than three-quarters have a positive outlook and business prospects (77%, versus 49% of the total population) and nearly all (99%) say that they see the glass as half-full (versus 83% of the total survey group)

To read the full survey, visit:

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