According to a survey conducted by American Express Open, 77 percent of small business owners believe that the recession is improving their managerial acumen.
The survey, using data from 727 respondents, suggests that entrepreneurs with their reputation for resilience, are facing the challenges head-on. Rather than giving in to the pressures of the economic downturn, they are demonstrating their tenacity, finding new strategies to streamline their businesses.
In ‘boom’ times, the demand for products and services is high and businesses tend to prosper with relative ease, but in a recession there is less room to maneuver and streamlining is often the way of resisting the undertow.
The president of American Express Open, Susan Sobbott, Commented:
‘Entrepreneurs are nimble and have strategies in place to manage business challenges. They are decreasing investments, adjusting expansion plans to capital on-hand, cutting expenses and focusing on adapting to customer demand.’
The survey also indicates that optimism is generally stabilizing amongst entrepreneurs. Overall, 4 out of 10 are optimistic about their prospects, short-term. 50 percent of small business owners in the retail sector are optimistic. Respondents in the mafucturing sector, however, are 18% less positive than they were this time last year.
Small business owners are becoming managerially savvy, but they are also showing supreme commitment, with 30% sacrificing their own salaries for the sake of the business.
Alice Bredin, a small business advisor to American Express Open, had this to say:
‘I think entrepreneurs are seeing the beginning of the final days of this, and they’re doing whatever they have to do to get through to the end, to find a way to stick around.’