2016 has been an unusual year in many ways. From the perspective of someone who has seen many years come and go, “uncertainty” is the single word I would give it.
Business owners thrive on certainty. We want to know what will happen so we can set our goals, plan our budgets, order our priorities, assign work to the troops. We also want to know that when we take on obligations there is a good chance that we can meet them. It all comes down to being able to plan and execute with a reasonable chance of success.
The indicators are showing a rise in optimism on the part of small business owners. According to MSN on December 13, “The November reading of the National Federation of Independent Businesses' small business optimism index jumped to 98.4 from 94.9 — its sharpest surge since 2009 — with all of the increase in sentiment coming after the U.S. elections held on Nov. 8.” And, “Among those who were surveyed following the election, the balance of opinion on whether business conditions were expected to improve skyrocketed from a reading of -6 to a whopping +38.”
Regardless of whom you backed in the election, that optimism is great news. First, it means the collective wisdom of business owners across the country is that business will get better. Second, it means that other businesses are more likely to purchase your products and services, because they see more certainty in the coming days.
Since the crash in 2008, we have learned to survive in an economy with less than 2% annual GDP growth. Hunker down. Hold on. Be careful. These are the bywords in a stagnant economy.
If the sentiments in the NFIB survey are correct, get ready for something new. Get your business in shape for growth!
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