Small Business Optimism Is Increasing

Business Confidence Survey From Insperity

Small Business ReportHalf of American small businesses plan to hire new employees, an encouraging finding in a just-released survey that reveals optimism at smaller firms is on the rise.

The Business Confidence Survey from Insperity, a provider of human resource and business solutions, further revealed that 61% of respondents expect sales to increase in 2015. In October, only 49% expected a sales rise, suggesting that owner optimism is surging. “By instituting plans to add employees, increase compensation levels and improve sales, business owners are acting on that optimism,” said Paul J. Sarvadi, Insperity chairman and CEO.

In the ad specialty market specifically, outlooks are similarly optimistic. The most recent Counselor Confidence Index, released last week and measured in the first two weeks of January, reached an all-time high – showing that distributor confidence in their ability to grow their businesses has never been higher.

Data from Insperity showed that the average compensation for employees at small and medium-sized businesses increased 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the same quarter the prior year. Bonuses ticked up nearly 2%. Relatedly, the survey showed that 41% of respondents plan to increase employee compensation, up from 23% in October. Another 43% of small businesses plan to hold the line on compensation levels.

Meanwhile, business owners are also focused on strong profit-generating activities. Nearly 70% aim to sell new accounts, while 65% plan to increase service to existing clients. Overall, 87% of survey respondents expect their companies to meet or exceed their 2014 performance.

Insperity conducted the survey from January 13-15, and thousands of executives from companies in a variety of industries were surveyed.