At first glance the NFIB's most recent Small Business Economic Trends report reflects the gloomy outlook held by many US small business owners. Report authors indicate that small business activity remains at recessionary levels but hint at possible optimism in a key area — the significant increase in the number of small business owners who expect general improvement in conditions in the next six months.
If you're working with small business clients or clients who sell to them, you can find opportunity in specific areas. Businesses are still spending on certain items:
Capital Equipment — 39% of small businesses purchased or leased capital equipment within the past six months. 23% plan to make an investment in equipment within the next three months
Vehicles — 22% of small businesses purchased or leased vehicles within the past six months
Furnishings/fixtures - 14% of small businesses purchased furnishings or fixtures within the past six months
Another key statistic in the report indicates that insurance costs continue to be a key problem for many business owners. If you're working with insurance providers, share this information with them.[Source: Small Business Economic Trends, NFIB, September 2008]