Small Business Owners Remain Very Optimistic But a Little Sleep Deprived

Small business optimism  among small business owners is at a record high. But this optimism is the result of hard work and dedication which comes with less sleep.

The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index survey revealed respondents slept 6.7 hours a night on average, less than the eight recommended hours. This, however, didn’t dampen their optimism as the index revealed an overall score of 68.7, which was up 2.4 points from the first quarter of 2018.

For two out of three small business owners, the current environment in the US is one that is positive and optimistic. This is being driven by a strong economy, record low unemployment, and lending institutions loosening up their purse strings to more borrowers.

Suzanne Clark, senior executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Jessica Moser, senior vice president, Small Business Solutions in MetLife’s Group Benefits business addressed ways in which they can ease the challenges owners face. In a press release, Clark said, “Small business owners remain optimistic and by taking action to help alleviate some of their current obstacles and ensure opportunity, we will in turn further increase Main Street optimism.”

While Moser added, “With 60 million Americans working for small businesses across the country, we need to focus on solutions to support their growth and success.”

The data for the analysis comes from an Ipsos poll. It was conducted from March 22 to April 23, 2018, over the phone with 1,002 small business owners and operators from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. The goal of the survey was to determine the health of small businesses in the U.S with each business classified into poor, neutral or good categories.

For this survey, small businesses were defined as companies with fewer than 500 employees — however sole proprietorships were excluded.

Key Takeaways from the Q2 2018 Small Business Index

As related to the schedules of small business owners, on average they spend 14 hour days on their company. According to the report, this is almost double the 7.8 hours of the typical worker in the U.S.

When this data was measured over a five day work week, small business owners were putting in 70 hours each week compared to the 40-hour average.

The health of businesses in the survey is also proportionate to the amount of time business owners spend on them. Owners who were there 14.5 hours a day said their businesses were in good health, while those working on their businesses only 10.25 hours a day indicated their businesses were in poor health.

Sixty-two percent of small businesses are expecting higher earnings with revenues increasing a year from now. And 18% reported they increased their workforce.

Across the U.S., 48 percent of local economies have reported the health of their business as good, the strongest sentiment about small businesses since the index began.

You can download the report for free here (PDF).

Image: US Chamber

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