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Third Quarter 2011

MOSourceLink Quarterly Small Business Outlook Survey


Would you start a business if you had to do it all over again? For many area small business owners, the answer is “Yes.”

“If you work at something you enjoy, you won’t ever work a day in your life,” said Charlie Gay. He’s been in business since 1972, in a variety of small business. (He “kinda falls into them,” he said.)

Charlie’s not alone in his passion about entrepreneurship and small business. Despite the headaches and challenges, more than 90 percent of the small business owners surveyed in the SourceLink Quarterly Small Business Outlook Survey said they would start a business again. More than 85 percent said they would start the same business.

The results come from the SourceLink Opinion Panel. Over the past six months, MOSourceLink and KCSourceLink invited a small sampling of area entrepreneurs and small business owners to share their opinions and expectations on small business issues.

Each quarter, the SourceLink Opinion Panel will express their opinions on their:

  • growth expectations for their business in the next 90 days
  • general expectations for growth in their business operations
  • general business expectations for year-over-year growth

While not a scientific sampling, the panel does provide a meaningful gauge of small business confidence and expectations.

The first SourceLink Quarterly Small Business Outlook Survey was conducted in July and August of this year.  Small business owners from the bi-state Kansas City region and across Missouri responded to the initial survey. Their results are shown below.

If I Had to Do It Over . .  .

We often hear about the many challenges that face small business owners: difficulty obtaining funding, fretting about making payroll, the list goes on and on. 

Owning a small business can be so stressful that U.S. News and World Reports ranked the endeavor as one of the most overrated careers.  Nonetheless, a full 91 percent of SourceLink opinion panelists said that they would still start their own business if they had to do it over again.

 Future Expectations

 The majority of panelists are optimistic about business operations over the next 90 days, as well as for the upcoming year. 76% expect a sales increase,  None of the panelists expect to lay off employees, while 35% expect to hire employees in the next quarter.

90-Day Growth Expectations:  Change in Sales: 76% expect a sales increase

90-Day Growth Expectations:  Contraction or Expansion: 65% expect to expand

90-Day Growth Expectations:  Employee Count: 35% expect to add employees

Most believe this year will be better for business in general compared to last year