In honor of National Small Business Week (May 12 to May 16), Allstate Insurance Company recently surveyed small-business owners across the U.S. Among the key findings are the "Top Five Things Keeping Small Business Owners Up at Night."
"Small-business owners struggle with many of the same issues as big business, but with minimal resources to make 'the business of doing business' happen fluidly," said Mike Barton, president of Allstate Business Insurance. "Allstate is sharing their concerns to help ease the process and bring greater understanding of the challenges they're facing."
There are more than 28 million small businesses in America that employ about one-third of the workforce. Trends indicate the number of small businesses has increased about 50 percent since 1982, and are responsible for adding about eight million jobs to the U.S. economy. According to the Allstate survey, nearly half of small businesses intend to grow in the next year with about one-third of small businesses adding staff.
The "Top Five Things Keeping Small-Business Owners Up at Night" are:
Functionality and reliability of technology to run the business
Taxes, government regulations and healthcare reform
Financing, with decreasing ability to acquire funds year-over-year
Customer acquisition and retention
Talent management, including recruiting and retaining staff.
Notably, labor issues are the single largest business expense encompassing about 50 percent of revenue for small businesses. While firms with high-performing employees are projected to grow three times faster than their peers, these employees are consistently being recruited by other firms. Firms with high-performing talent have a 350 percent growth variance between firms with low-performing talent, and the issues impacting a multi-generational workforce have given way to challenging engagement tactics for small businesses.
Other key findings from the Allstate small-business owner survey include:
78 percent of small-business owners state their company is performing profitably.
About one-third of small businesses attribute their company performance to the economy (36 percent), followed by market changes to their industry (27 percent).
Small businesses are most concerned with competition from other small businesses in their area (46 percent).
Four in 10 responded that the biggest risk to their business is an interruption due to injury or illness; followed by 16 percent who are concerned with data lost, stolen or compromised; and having essential equipment break down (11 percent).
Gaps in business revenue pose as a large threat for small businesses. Markedly, 25 percent of small-business claims reported to Allstate are due to damage to the building and/or contents, loss of income, and computer or data loss. Safeguarding a business with insurance for varied risks such as property and auto insurance to data compromises; damages to equipment; and business interruptions, including critical illness, alleviates stress associated to these concerns.
As a provider for more than 250,000 small-business policyholders distributed through more than 10,000 small-business insurance agency owners, Allstate shares resources to help American small businesses prosper. For more information on Allstate business insurance, visit: www.allstate.com/businessinsurance.
Survey Methodology A survey of 520 small-business owners or operators with 25 employees or fewer was conducted from April 15 through April 17, 2014 via online survey using a sample panel. The survey was conducted by FTI Consulting, Inc. (FTI) for Allstate.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate branded insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services are offered through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via www.allstate.com, www.allstate.com/financial and 1-800 Allstate®, and are widely known through the slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®." In 2013, $29 million was given by The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners to support local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners donated 200,000 hours of service across the country.