Small Business Owners Focus on Wellness, Employees
It’s no secret entrepreneurs start small businesses to make money. But generating profits isn’t the only aim of small companies. Often, most serve as a local institution and work toward improving their community. Such is the case in a recent Bank of America survey, which found owners are increasingly focused on well-being, personally and financially.
Running a business helps owners get healthy
In its spring 2013 Small Business Owner Report, Bank of America found 53 percent of responding owners said their health has improved along with operating a small business. But it’s not just themselves they focused on; 85 percent said they’ve also taken steps to improve the satisfaction and well-being of employees, which often comes at a price.
Some of the activities used to boost employee happiness were discounting services and/or goods for workers, offering workplace amenities like food and massages (both 31 percent) and team-building exercises and outings (23 percent).
“It’s important to be flexible when it comes to our employees,” said George Montilio, president of Massachusetts-based Montilio’s Baking Company. “We provide very competitive compensation and offer benefits that make sense for us as a business, such as employee discounts.”
However, despite their active lives – 35 percent said they got more exercise running a small business – stress was still a factor for owners: 14 percent cited managing cash flow as a major burden.
General economic outlook positive
The survey also gauged the sentiment of small business owners when it came to the economy. Thirty-one percent said they were likely to hire employees during the next 12 months, while 51 percent expect revenues to increase during the same time frame.
Overall, 41 percent believe the national economy will improve within the next year, and 45 percent said the same about their local economy.
Access to working capital has also improved somewhat for small businesses. Sixty-seven percent said sufficient capital is available to them, while 79 percent of owners who applied for a loan in the past two years received funding.
However, Robb Hilson, small business executive for Bank of America, warned access to capital is only one part of the larger financing picture for entrepreneurs. Hilson noted improving cash flow and investing in new equipment are also key strategies that impact financial health.
As the economy continues its upswing, more small business owners may be encouraged to expand or make operational improvements they put off during the recession. To do so, entrepreneurs can work with National Funding to obtain small business loan or equipment leasing packages.