PRINCETON, NJ -- U.S. small business owners are slightly more negative than positive, looking ahead to their prospects in 2014. According to Gallup Inc., 28% indicated they are less optimistic about their business's future going into 2014 than they were going into 2013, while 23% say they are more optimistic. The rest say their optimism remains about the same.
Titled Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index – Optimism for 2014, the Gallup poll was conducted via telephone interviews with some 600 small business owners. According to the poll, business owners' attitudes have not shifted dramatically compared with previous years, though the gap between those who are more and less optimistic has decreased.
Citing the challenges faced by small business owners, the most frequently mentioned external challenge was the economy and potential impact of Obamacare, the government in general, regulation and taxes.
Internal challenges listed by the business owners included attracting new customers and business, cash flow concerns, costs and fees associated with running a business, hiring and keeping competent staff, the competition, and getting credit.
Since August 2003, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index has surveyed small business owners on current and future perceptions.