Recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Survey: Almost half of small business owners have developed contingency plans; many foresee unplanned changes in 2009
While they consider what to do in the case of a slowing economy, business owners are thinking positively about their priorities for the coming year. Nearly all respondents said that finding new ways to operate more efficiently was a high priority in 2009 (90 percent). Eighty-nine percent said they want to increase their sales and revenue, while almost sixty percent said that expanding their businesses to reach more customers is a high priority for 2009. Fifty-eight percent said they have prioritized creating new or improved products or services.
Most business owners plan to implement their 2009 plans without adding new resources. Seventy-five percent considered hiring more employees a low priority, and almost two-thirds (63 percent) said the same about increasing their investment in technology. Seventy-nine percent prioritized a cut in operating costs in the coming year, an increase of 25 percent from when the question was last surveyed (in 2006).
About the Small Business Index
For the last 22 quarters, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index has surveyed small business owners on current and future perceptions of their business financial situation. The Index consists of two dimensions: 1) Owners’ ratings of the current situation of their businesses and, 2) Owners’ ratings of how they expect their businesses to perform over the next 12 months. An Index score of zero reflects that an equal number of small business owners are optimistic and pessimistic about their companies’ situation. Results are based on telephone interviews with 605 small business owners nationwide conducted November 5- 17, 2008. The margin of sampling error is ± 4 percentage points.
About the Gallup Organization
For more than 70 years, the Gallup Organization has been a recognized leader in the measurement and analysis of people’s attitudes, opinions and behavior. While best known for the Gallup Poll, founded in 1935, Gallup’s current activities consist largely of providing marketing and management research, advisory services and education to the world’s largest corporations and institutions.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 11,000 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has the highest credit rating currently given to U.S. banks by Moody’s Investors Service, “Aa1,” and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, “AA+.”
Wells Fargo is America’s #1 small business lender in total dollar volume according to the most recent Community Reinvestment Act data (2007) and the #1 SBA 7a bank lender in total dollar volume (2008). Wells Fargo has loaned more than $38 billion to women, African American, Latino and Asian business owners since 1995. For more information, speak with a Wells Fargo banker, visit wellsfargo.com/biz or call the National Business Banking Center at 1-800-CALL-WELLS.
Note: Survey results available upon request.