A new survey reveals that U.S. small business owners plan to ramp up hiring. For August, the National Federation of Independent Business' monthly Small Business Economic Trends report indicated that 16% of small firms aim to increase total employment, a seven-percentage-point increase and the best reading since January 2007. "Job creation plans for the next few months surged and plans to make capital outlays and expand inventory holdings improved as well," said William Dunkelberg, chief economist at NFIB.
In addition to the hiring outlook improving, small businesses also told NFIB that they're expecting their sales to increase over the next six months. In fact, the amount of companies expecting sales growth within the next six months increased by eight percentage points, the largest jump in the survey this year.
The outlooks of the NFIB survey mirror what many in the ad specialty market are seeing right now. "Small business owners remain the number-one buyers of promotional products and confidence among small businesses, in general, is strengthening," said Bill Smith Jr., president of Top 40 distributor firm Brown & Bigelow (asi/148500). "I am optimistic about business prospects for our industry over the rest of 2013 and all of 2014."
Others believe growth and sales success is out there for industry companies that approach the market in specific ways. "Business is great, but business is always great if your company can continue to reinvent its brand position and point of difference to stay relevant," said Derek Block, CEO of Top 40 distributor Touchstone (asi/345631). "The response may be a bit different if your business is built on taking orders, which puts you at the mercy of clients placing orders. The reality is most businesses are driven off the economy and the economy is doing well. I expect business to be strong the remainder of 2013 and in 2014."