Small Businesses Plan for Better Financial Health

Nearly half of small businesses expect their financial health to improve in 2013 and are confident that sales will increase over 2012, according to a new survey released Friday by TD Bank, a leading bank in America. The survey also found that nearly one-third of small business respondents plan to hire at least one employee in the coming year.

TD Bank’s survey polled more than 500 small business owners across the bank’s Maine to Florida footprint for their plans for 2013. The research was conducted in November and December 2012 by ORC International, and surveyed companies over the telephone with annual sales of no more than $5 million.

What Small Businesses Say:

  • 49% say they are somewhat or very confident that their small business will be in better financial shape than it was in 2012, with 25% still unsure and 25% are not confident about their financial health.
  • 47% are somewhat or very confident that they’ll exceed their sales performance from 2012, 31% are unsure, and 22% think sales will worsen.
  • 59% intend to keep staffing levels the same, but 32% plan to hire at least one new employee, and only 9% plan to downsize their team in the year ahead.
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“Small business owners should develop a sound strategy heading into 2013 that focuses on creative ways to boost sales while also monitoring expenses,” says Jay DesMarteau, head of Small Business and Government Banking Distributions, TD Bank. “This strategy starts with small business owners talking with their advisors and partners, including their bank, about their business plans for the upcoming year.”

TD Bank’s survey also asked small business owners how often they review and update their business plan. According to the results, the frequency in which small business owners review and update their business plan varies. Of those polled, 36% review and update it once a year, 30% every quarter, and 20% each month. The remaining (13%) only do so when applying for new financing.

Given the challenges of today’s economy, DesMarteau says small business owners should review their business plan at least every six months and make adjustments whenever significant business decisions are made.

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