How are Small Businesses Doing?

We are swimming upstream as we look at all the data that tries to explain the performance and health of small businesses.  Numerous trustworthy surveys exist, each featuring their own methods and objectives aiming to accurately portray the small business environment. Which survey provides the most accurate view?

The Small Biz CEO has examined quite a few surveys and found the WSJ/Vistage Small Business CEO Confidence Index and the MetLife & US Chamber Small Business Index to offer the clearest view. Both surveys identified several persistent patterns worth noting. How does your business compare to the survey results?

First and foremost, both surveys identified inflation as the top concern.  The Met Life & US Chamber survey noted that this wat the eighth consecutive quarter that inflation was the number one concern.  Because of this, the WSJ/Vistage survey found that 55% of the businesses surveyed plan to raise prices in 2024.

Secondly, both surveys showed that business owners are losing confidence that the economic conditions are improving.  The Met Life & US Chamber Confidence Index fell 8 points from Q3 of 2023.

The third recurring theme centered around the challenge to hire new employees. The WSJ/Vistage Survey showed that only 44% of businesses were operating at full capacity.  Increased salary demands were also noted as a leading concern.

WSJ / Vistage Small Business CEO Confidence Index (January 5, 2024)

MetLife & U.S. Chamber Small Business Index for Q4 (December 12, 2023)

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