Third Annual First Citizens Bank Small Business Forecast Shows U.S. Small Business Owners Plan To Grow, Millennials Optimistic
RALEIGH, N.C. — The third annual First Citizens Bank Small Business Forecast reveals that the majority of small business owners plan to grow their business this year. Overall, 71 percent of respondents expect to grow their business while 82 percent of millennials look for their business to expand in the next six to 12 months.
The forecast also found millennials are generally more optimistic and eager to expand their businesses compared to baby boomers and Gen Xers. One area of concern for millennial business owners is employee retention, with about one in five saying they did not expect retaining employees to be as difficult as it has been.
While small business owners were satisfied with their business performance, 68 percent expressed optimism around future economic conditions. Millennial small business owners have the most confidence in the U.S. economy (81 percent), an increase from 2016. In general, those surveyed agree that the state where their business is located is a great place to start a business. Of the states surveyed, North Carolina had the most significant increase in optimism around economic conditions, rising three percentage points from last year.
Kate Stackhouse, manager of sales effectiveness at First Citizens Bank, acknowledges the success of small business owners saying, "2017 continues to be a strong year for small businesses, and small business owners are poised to use their ideas and accomplishments to have an even greater impact on the economy. It’s important to do all that we can to help them navigate and to put their future aspirations within reach."
Other findings include:
- Millennial small business owners plan to address their concern around retaining employees by hiring additional employees (47 percent).
- Thirty-four percent of small business owners are also planning to expand their business by securing additional funds through a bank loan, personal savings or a business credit card in the next six to 12 months.
- Skilled trade small business owners feel a greater sense of responsibility for their employees and their families (42 percent), compared to non-skilled trade business owners (28 percent).
- Driving customer awareness through digital marketing is a top tactic for small business owners. Sixty-four percent reported their customers find out about their business through their website and 60 percent of respondents said their customers discover their business through the business’s social properties.
- Of the small business owners surveyed, 49 percent stated that social media is one of the most popular resource to learn about small business trends. The percentage of small business owners who indicated attending conferences as a good way to learn about trends increased by eight percent compared to last year’s survey.
The First Citizens Bank Small Business Forecast is conducted annually in California, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina to assess the motivations, sentiment and success of U.S. small business owners. For more information, visit www.firstcitizens.com/smallbizstudy.
About First Citizens Bank
Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens Bank is the largest family-controlled bank in the U.S., with offices in 21 states. Drawing from over a century of experience serving the needs of business customers, First Citizens focuses on developing long-term relationships and offers a comprehensive array of products and services to help small businesses manage their finances and grow. First Citizens Bank is a major subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq: FCNCA), which has over $34 billion in assets. For more information, call toll free 866-FCB 4BIZ (866-322-4249) or visit firstcitizens.com/business. First Citizens Bank. Forever First®.
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