Growth may once again be part of a small company's business plan

Since the start of the Great Recession in 2008, the outlook for small business owners was bleak. Any Maryland company that survived the recession was most likely forced to scale back an ambitious business plan in favor of being conservative and cautious. The latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index reveals that, even though small business owners may remain cautious, there is reason to be optimistic.

The Index quantifies that optimism, and the current positive index is 58. The new score is up nine points just since July 2014 when the last Index was released. The increase since Oct. 2013 is an impressive 34 points.

Small business owners are now looking at growth over the next 12 months. Nearly 71 percent of companies believe their financial situations will be "very good" or at least "somewhat good" in 2015. In addition, approximately 51 percent believe they will see an increase in revenue in the next 12 months as well.

This is good news for the economy and job market since approximately 26 percent of small business owners intend to increase the number of people they employee in the next year. Even with this cautious optimism, a full 56 percent of companies are concerned with how the new health care laws will affect business. Increasing the customer base is also an ongoing concern, as many Maryland companies compete for the same consumers.

With an improving economy, a small business may be able to adjust its business plan to once again include growth. Before doing so, however, it is important to be sure that all of the business and legal considerations are explored. Resolving any potential issues now could forestall complications in the future that could sabotage a business' success.

Source:, "Optimism grows for small business owners", David Matthau, Dec. 8, 2014

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