Small business owners are optimistic for growth in 2024

NEW YORK (AP) — While it seems increasingly unlikely the US economy is headed for recessionsmall businesses still face headwinds like higher costs and difficulty retaining qualified workers.

But owners say they’re optimistic as 2024 gets underway, according to a new survey from American Express.

Eighty-five percent of all small businesses surveyed said they were satisfied with the success of their business, and 86% said they achieved their 2023 business goals. In August 2023, by contrast, 80% of all small businesses surveyed said their long-term financial confidence was being negatively impacted by the economy.

AP correspondent Mae Anderson reports on the optimism of business owners.

“Even in uncertain economic conditions, small businesses continue to demonstrate resiliency and dedication,” said Gina Taylor Cotter, executive vice president and general manager of American Express’ small business products & Business Blueprint. “Our latest data shows small businesses see a positive 2024 ahead and they’re taking steps, including hiring, and implementing new tools, in order to stay proactive and competitive.”

Fifty percent of small businesses surveyed have plans to grow or expand their business in 2024. But only 28% said they plan on hiring more employees, as hiring and retention remains a sticking point

Rising Costs, Hard Market Remain but Hope for New Opportunities Holds

There are reasons to be optimistic about the small business insurance market. New businesses are opening their doors every day. Small business start-ups are booming with record-breaking new business applications reported in 2023.

While the rising cost of insurance for small businesses is pushing entrepreneurs to retain more risk and reevaluate their insurance partners, the surplus lines market is helping to fill some gaps.

Small businesses themselves remain bullish on 2024, despite high inflation, high interest rates, worker shortages, and higher costs to insure their operations.

The high percentage of underinsured small enterprises also presents opportunities. In terms of policy counts, small business is still big business.

Small business insurance specialists share the overall optimism for the sector, although they are having to work harder and smarter to serve the sector and they face new challenges every day.

Today’s challenges require more attention from small business insurance experts, says Yvette Prichard, president of small business, Heffernan Insurance Brokers, located in Walnut Creek, California.

“We are definitely seeing a lot of hands-on (attention) needed for renewals,” she said. “Clients are angry, they’re frustrated. Some small business owners are not just merely facing higher premiums at renewal, but many are also facing

Small Business Owners Should Learn to Embrace Failure – Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic

Business and leadership coach Andrea Liebross wants entrepreneurs and small-business owners to learn to embrace failure.

Liebross, the author of She Thinks Big, encourages business owners to make a list of 25 things they are willing to fail each year. “You have to be willing to fail at something in order to achieve it,” she says. In addition to making yourself vulnerable and having difficult conversations, Liebross failure is one of the best learning tools for a small business owner.

From hiring someone who may not be a perfect fit for your company to creating a lofty financial goal, Liebross’s failure goals can acclimate your mind to a culture of reaching for the impossible. Even if it is just for fun, she tells business owners that learning to embrace failure is a muscle that needs to be exercised.

Liebross encourages entrepreneurs to have a strong support system so that when failure happens, they have a team of experts from different fields who can help them learn exactly why they failed and how to avoid it from happening again. Liebross says it’s important to have a diverse roster on your support team, from marketing experts to legal advisors.