Recently, the administration has made a point of ardently encouraging banks to lend more freely to small businesses. This federal prodding makes it seem as though fundraising is the average small business owner's number one problem these days. In actuality, acquiring funds has just been ranked as one of the least of most small business owner's worries. Their biggest concern this past quarter? Sales.
According to the most recent NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, released in November, a survey of 11,000 small businesses asked participants to choose one of ten measures, including factors such as taxes, inflation, and government requirements and red tape, as their single most important problem right now. The results revealed that 33% of small business owners were most beleaguered by poor sales.
That is an all-time high for this specific measure, and the third highest percentage reported for any of the survey's ten measures over the past 35 years.
"Although a nice gesture, enhancing SBA lending programs will not help much -- too many owners have no reason to borrow," the NFIB report states. "In short, the demand for credit is in short supply and failing to understand the more major problems facing small business leads to bad policy."
"What small business needs is customers," the report continues.
Would you consider sales to be your greatest concern as you enter 2010?