Small businesses are facing a variety of challenges from continued economic uncertainty and health care reform. Business owners need to leverage technology, such as business management software, to stay competitive. As business picks up for many companies, they have an increased need for accounting technology to manage increased orders.
More than half of small-business owners expect sales to increase for the rest of the year, according to a recent survey from Insperity. While many owners were still uncertain about the state of the economy, 34 percent thought a rebound was in progress. In response to the growing confidence over business condition, 40 percent of owners planned to hire new staff. However, many small companies were still exercising caution in making plans and strategies for the future.
"While many business owners continue to add workers and anticipate sales increases through year-end, the economic uncertainty of the last few years is becoming a regular part of forming and executing business plans," said Paul Savardi, CEO and chairman of Insperity. "In facing this challenge, entrepreneurs are combining economic flexibility with strategic activity to meet current marketplace demands."
Small-business owners responding to health care reform delays
Last month, the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate was delayed an additional year, which gives small-business owners more time to prepare to offer health care coverage. Many small companies are using funds they would have invested in complying with the regulation on new equipment and hiring additional workers, according to July's "Wall Street Journal/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey." Business owners are hoping the increased investments in technology and new employees will help them stay competitive and better prepare for the impacts of health care reform.
Small business management software can help owners adapt to new challenges. Employers are still preparing for the ACA, but the delay has been a reprieve for many so they can make investments that otherwise would have been put off. Even for small businesses that offer health coverage, many face additional costs to bring plans up to the minimum requirements. However, more than half of firms anticipated hiring new workers in the next year leading up to the new employer mandate deadline.
Small-business owners were planning on gaining new accounts, diversifying their product and service offerings and creating better customer experience for their existing clients as ways of staying competitive, according to the Insperity survey.