Bank of America today released the spring 2013 Small Business Owner Report, a semi-annual study exploring the concerns, aspirations and perspectives of small business owners throughout the country. The survey, which includes an oversampling of small business owners in Miami, found that if affected by a significant disruption, such as a natural disaster, long power outage or major staffing change, owners on average could sustain their business without outside financial help for six months.
Compared to 31 percent of business owners nationwide, more than half (55 percent) of small business owners in Miami have experienced a significant disruption, which resulted in reduced revenue (71 percent) or a temporary business closure (47 percent). But if there were another disruption, Miami business owners say they are prepared. Sixty percent have a plan to deal with unexpected events, higher than the national average of 51 percent.
"With hurricane season nearly upon us, the importance of disaster preparedness cannot be overlooked," said Odalis Martinez, Small Business Banker manager. "Miami small business owners understand this and are taking the necessary precautions to be well-capitalized in case a major disruption impacts their business."
Business owners see personal and employee wellness as essential to success The report also explores small business owners' personal health, finding 57 percent of Miami respondents feel their personal health is better as a result of running their own small business. Seven in 10 (70 percent) believe they manage the stress associated with running a small business well, while only 7 percent feel they do not. In addition, one in three (35 percent) Miami small business owners surveyed exercise more and three in 10 (31 percent) eat healthier as a result of owning a small business.
Small business owners are also looking for innovative ways to keep employees happy and healthy. Ninety-four percent of Miami small business owners take steps to contribute to the happiness of their employees, including flexible hours (50 percent), health/wellness benefits (35 percent) and additional amenities, such as healthy snacks, free lunches and massages (33 percent). All of these numbers exceed the national average.
Optimism for business and economy Small business owners are optimistic about the financial wellness of their business and the economy.
More than half (55 percent) of Miami small business owners anticipate a revenue increase for their small business over the next year. Respondents cite marketing my business more (39 percent), selling more to my existing customer base (16 percent) and providing better customer service (16 percent) as tactics to reach these revenue goals and are willing to harness new technology, such as mobile devices (53 percent) and web meetings (65 percent), to connect with customers and suppliers.
However, Miami small business owners do not expect to increase hiring efforts. Only 22 percent plan to hire new employees in the next year (9 percent below the national response).
In the next 12 months, 60 percent of respondents expect their local economy to improve, and 59 percent anticipate economic improvement nationally, both higher than the national numbers. Respondents cite consumer confidence (70 percent), recovery of consumer spending (64 percent) and the strength of the U.S. dollar (62 percent) as the key factors for the success of their small business and improved economic outlook.
Miami small business owners seek advice Miami small business owners are well-capitalized, with 69 percent saying they have enough capital to effectively run their business, and almost four out of five (79 percent) do not intend to apply for a loan in 2013.
However, only 23 percent consider themselves very financially savvy. The majority of Miami's small business owners (71 percent) say they are fairly financially savvy, but need help from time to time and look to an account/bookkeeper (82 percent), family/friends (66 percent) or a financial advisor (54 percent) for financial advice.
"We've found that small business owners seek the same thing regardless of location: expertise to help with their cash flow needs and grow their business," said Steve Turner, regional executive for the Southeast for Bank of America. "Whether they're looking for help managing their payroll, capital to grow their business or mobile payment systems to help with customer transactions, we are committed to helping small business owners in Miami continue to expand their business."
Bank of America has continued to lend actively to small businesses across the U.S. and Florida. Through March, Bank of America has extended $386.6 million in credit across Florida to small businesses - this includes $245.9 million in new originations, a 58 percent increase year-over-year. This has helped enable Bank of America to exceed its national small business lending pledge to the White House and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
For a complete, in-depth look at the insights of the nation's small business owners, please read the entire spring 2013 Small Business Owner Report, and for additional Miami-based insights, download the Small Business Owner Report Miami infographic here.
About the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report Braun Research conducted the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report survey by phone between March 14 and March 31, 2013, on behalf of Bank of America. Braun contacted a nationally representative sample of 1,000 small business owners in the United States with annual revenue between $100,000 and $4,999,999 and employing between 2 and 99 employees. In addition, 300 small business owners were also surveyed in nine target markets: Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Miami. The margin of error for the national sample is +/- 3.1 percent and the margin of error for the oversampled markets is +/- 5.7 percent, with both reported at a 95 percent confidence level.
The Braun Research survey results conducted on behalf of Bank of America and interpretations in this release are not intended, nor implied, to be a substitute for the professional advice received from a qualified accountant, attorney or financial advisor. Always seek the advice of an accountant, attorney or financial advisor with any questions you may have regarding the decisions you undertake as a result of reviewing the information contained herein. Nothing in this report should be construed as either advice or legal opinion.
(C) 2013 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.
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