Small-Business Owners Optimistic for 2010

January 19, 2010 ( - According to a recent survey conducted by TD Bank, 92% of small-business owners are considering proactive strategies to prepare for an economic upswing, with 36% expecting to see their business grow in 2010.

According to a press release, 87% of small-business owners say their business will perform at least the same or better in 2010 compared with 2009, and 57% are cautiously optimistic that the new year will bring an end to the pain of the recession. Two-thirds (66%) of small-business owners say the recession had some level of negative effect on their business, with 23% rating the impact as very negative.

Aside from the recession, 38% of respondents said their biggest hurdle in 2009 was retaining and growing their customer base, while managing cash flow was the toughest challenge for 34% of respondents. Keeping health care and insurance costs in line (15%) and staffing issues (8%) were also sources of stress, the press release said.

The top business New Year’s Resolution (45%) is to save more and spend less, which also happens to be the number one personal New Year’s Resolution for 41% of small-business owners. Thirty percent resolve to devote more of their time to sales and marketing efforts, while 10% aspire to execute those operational improvements they’ve been contemplating.

The majority (53%) believe that an improving economy will be their biggest business opportunity in 2010. Twenty percent think that promoting their business via social media and networking sites will bring the most opportunity, while 15% will try to take advantage of a better competitive landscape and a large pool of available talent.

The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies from December 16 to 22, 2009, with small business owners (defined as business owners with fewer than 20 employees) using the Angus Reid Forum. The sample size included 575 men and women.