CPA Practice Advisor

AUG 2018

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40 AUGUST 2018 ■ www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com THE SMALL BUSINESS CHANNEL Entrepreneurs Optimistic About Business Outlook By Isaac M. O'Bannon, Managing Editor Business owners have a generally positive business outlook, feel good about their ability to find new customers, and are relatively optimistic about the state of the U.S. economy. That’s according to data from the first Paychex Business Sentiment Report, which polled 500 randomly selected business owners with 500 employees or less to gauge their current sentiment on everything from hiring and wages to financing and more. “We’re experiencing record-low unemployment in the U.S. and more than six million jobs remain open,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “Paychex employees who talk with clients and prospects everyday say businesses are feeling the crunch of the tight labor market. There is fierce competition for talent among both small and large employers. If an employee isn’t feeling engaged, adequately paid, or afforded a competitive benefits package, he or she may look for work elsewhere. This increased competition means it’s more important than ever for businesses to find and retain top talent.” On a scale of 1-100 with 1 representing the highest level of pessimism and 100 representing the peak of optimism, the Paychex poll revealed business owners rate their current business outlook overall at 65. Business outlook ranked second-highest to their ability to find new customers (69/100), followed in order by: ■ Access to capital (62/100) ■ Current U.S. economy (60/100) ■ Ability to make capital investments like technology and equipment (59/100) “Our data confirms the fact that business owners are feeling positive about their prospects for success in the current environment, which is good news for both entrepreneurs and customers,” Mucci added, “Perhaps most notably, business owners seem to be feeling good about the economy and their ability to access capital. It will be interesting to watch these data points over time – but for now, the market is doing well, investments are happening, and business owners are mostly optimistic about their prospects for growth.” While business owners appear to be somewhat confident in the financial side of their operation, they are more cautious about whether they will be hiring or raising wages. According to Paychex’s research, business owners feel slightly less than neutral (48/100) about their ability to raise wages and are most pessimistic about their hiring outlook for all types of employees: ■ Full-time employees (31/100) ■ Part-time employees (31/100) ■ Temporary or contract workers (16/100) Finding the right employees isn’t the only hurdle for business owners, as regulations topped the list of today’s challenges. In fact, according to respondents, keeping up and complying with regulations at the state and federal level are tied atop the list of challenges when it comes to managing their business. Meanwhile, keeping up and complying with local regulations ranked third on the list. “As the Trump administration continues to promote a deregulated business environment, you’re seeing many state governments take action in response, resulting in a new wave of employer-facing regulations,” Mucci noted. ■ Latest SMALL BUSINESS News More Restaurants Moving Away from Plastic Straws. Drinking straws have been around for more than 5,000 years, but the plastic version is facing a modern backlash. www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/12420512 Advising Clients on Global Expansion. 81 percent of U.S. companies think the international component of their business is important and expect it to increase in activity during the next 12 months. www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/12421153 4 Ways to Solve Cash Flow Problems. Even the most prepared small business owner can get blindsided by a sudden financial emergency. www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/12422061 The Last Blockbuster Store in America. With its video rental business model pummeled for years by one new bit of emerging technology after another, Blockbuster is near extinction. www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/12420516 11 Signs of Workers’ Comp Fraud. While accounting firms aren’t usually exposed to extreme workplace hazards, common employee injuries such as slips, trips and falls, back injuries and repetitive stress injuries sometimes occur. www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/12419587 THIS MONTH'S TOP SMALL BUSINESS SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS ■ Invoice Format Tips for Beginners. Xero Small Business Guides. https://bit.ly/2MjsdyB ■ WordPress Basics for Small Businesses. By Chris Gregory on the allBusiness blog. https://bit.ly/2vByONW ■ 4 Ways to Get Attention for Your Small Biz. Daniel Kile on the Motley Fool. https://bit.ly/2MmL10b ■ Best and Worst States to Start a Business. Karsten Strauss via Forbes. https://bit.ly/2AKNdx5 ■ Secrets to Get More Website Traffic. Annie Pilon via Small Business Trends. https://bit.ly/2K3uxrC

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