It’s that time of year again. As 2011 winds down, financial experts are hard at work trying to predict what 2012 will hold in store for U.S. small businesses. Will it be more of the economic slump we’ve seen for the past few years — or are things finally starting to turn around?
Sell, Sell, Sell!
According to a report in Business Insider, 2012 may be notable NOT as a year of growth — but as the best year to sell your small business.
“Banks continue to slowly improve lending options, and both sellers and buyers are more aware of financing solutions to help close a deal,” the report explains.
It then goes into a checklist of factors to make sure that, if you do sell, you do it right — starting with getting your financial records in a row, and continuing through market research and the right way to find potential buyers. Read the report here.
2012 is expected to be a better year for franchises, too — experts are predicting a growth level of 1.9 percent, particularly in the areas of lodging and business and personal services.
If that happens, it’ll be a turnaround: Lack of credit is being blamed for the fact that U.S. franchises have decreased for the third straight year.
In 2011, the number was down a slight 0.6 percent over 2010, reports The Wall Street Journal.
And employment at U.S. franchises was up just 1.9 percent this year — that’s compared to the 2.5 percent increase predicted by the International Franchise Association (IFA).
Most Small Business Owners? Yeah, They’re Worried …
According to a recent Gallup poll, one out of three small business owners are (very or moderately) worried about going out of business in 2012.
“Roughly the same number of owners are concerned they will be unable to hire new employees, unable to pay their current workers and struggle to compete with their large competitors,” sums up the Washington Post.
And, believe it or not, many of these business owners are blaming their worries on the U.S. government.
“When asked what they would need to see in order for their business to thrive in 2012, the nation’s small-business owners are most likely to say growth in sales (15%), job creation (14%), and fewer government regulations (12%),” Gallup’s Chief Economist said in a statement.
“The magnitude of the challenges facing small-business owners is reflected by the one-third who are worried that they may go out of business or not have enough money to pay their employees in 2012,” the statement continued.
These stats were created by polling and interviewing 604 small business owners earlier in October.