Jul. 16, 2018 | Updated 12:00 AM ET
Written by: Mathew Hein, Director of Business Banking, Firstrust Bank
With one of the strongest optimism ratings in 45 years*, small business owners are feeling more confident than ever about their company’s future.
In fact, at the beginning of 2018, small businesses were anticipating:
- Growing revenue 9.1 percent on average, up from 8.7 percent one year ago**
- Better performance in 2018 than in 2017, up 12 percentage points**
- Strong business growth, up 10% from the expectations of late 2016**
But even with record-high expectations and a strong outlook for overall business performance in the upcoming year, how do you decide if it is time to invest in growing your business? Here are 4 signs it may be time to take the plunge and focus on expansion.
- You’re Ready to Migrate Past Being a Start-Up. When your passions collide with your dedication and you are convinced that your business will not just survive, but thrive—it may be time to pick up the pace and get your growth on the road.
- Your Customers Are Asking You to Grow. Take a look at the patterns of your customer feedback. If they’re begging for new products, services, or longer hours, you may want to invest in meeting their demands. Hopefully, your business will see a quick pay off of your investment with increased sales and satisfied customers.
- The Industry You’re In is Growing. If your industry is booming, it’s likely your business will be too. With an in-demand business, growing is easier and less risky. While you’re at it, go ahead and think of some future-proof offerings that will help you gain stability if the industry ever becomes stagnant.
- Customers are Lining Up Out the Door. If you’ve got more business than you can handle, it’s a clear sign that expansion—whether adding more workers or expanding your space—would be a good idea to help you meet the demand and even bring on more customers.
The good news is, with the economic climate we’re in now, small businesses are also more optimistic in their ability to raise financing to grow their business, even reporting higher success rates in acquiring loan financing from banks—up 8 percentage points from 2017**.
As they say in the business world, you either grow or you die. So if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, take advantage of the positive momentum and act now.
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* NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, January 2018