Small Business Owners Have Good Feelings About Their Finances

August 30, 2004 ( - Small business owners are optimistic about their personal financial situations and the outlook for their businesses to grow.

Nearly seven out of 10 (68%) small business owners say their personal financial situations are either “excellent” or “good.” Additionally, 70% of small business owners participating in the Wells Fargo/Gallup survey say their personal financial situations are getting better, while 77% expect to be better off financially a year from now.

More good news came from 67% of small business owners that said they are in a good position to maintain their current standards of living when they retire. Further, more than half (54%) said their business will be a major source of their retirement income – either from continued ownership or from its eventual sale.

“The continued optimism we are seeing from small business owners is also very clearly translating into greater optimism with regards to how they view their personal financial situations,” said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, small business segment manager for Wells Fargo. “The steady rise of small business owner optimism and confidence in their business and personal financial situations is another positive sign for the economy.”

Despite the warm-fuzzies small business owners feel toward their personal situations, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index rose slightly over the last quarter from 100 to 103. However, the surveying bodies said that while the overall Index score remained relatively flat, there were significant variations from region to region. The Index score for the East Region had the largest increase, rising 20 points from 84 to 104, while the Index score for the South remains the overall highest scoring region at 128 (up from 119). Meanwhile, the Index score for the Midwest and the West regions declined 21 points to 78 and one point to 92, respectively.

When asked to cite their company’s most important problem, small business owners listed lack of business/poor economy, cited by 23% of all respondents, as their main problem. This was followed by financial/cash flow issues (18%), lack of qualified employees (13%), and health insurance (10%).

The Index tracks six key measures for both current conditions and future expectations as reported by small business owners: current financial situation, revenues, cash flow, capital spending, number of jobs, and credit availability.