New insights from Spring 2017 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report:
• Increased optimism among Hispanic entrepreneurs: Fifty-two percent of all small business owners say the national economy will improve in the next 12 months – a 21% jump since fall 2016 – while 50% say their local economy will improve, up 13%.
• Entrepreneurs are unchanged in their estimates for revenue growth (48%), five-year growth plans (56%) and plans to hire in the coming year (only 18%), which all remained steady or dropped since fall 2016.
• Small business owners say running their business is four times as stressful as raising children, 24% have had a nightmare about their business failing, and 61% work more than 40 hours a week. Despite this, 82% say they have work-life balance.
• Innovation is a mindset: Most small business owners see themselves as innovators, with 73% reporting they took an innovative action in their business in the last two years, such as upgrading their business technology or adopting more efficient practices.
• Predictions for the future of small business 20 years from now include businesses that are virtual (49%), paperless (42%) and more automated (42%). One in ten believe most businesses will employ a robot.
• Entrepreneurs’ widespread focus on innovation, coupled with their growing economic optimism, bodes well for the future of small business in the U.S.