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2013 Small Business Success Study

Small Business Owners
Respond to Today’s
Economic Climate

More Small Business Owners Are Optimistic About Economy; Remain Conservative About Risks in Business

The Hartford 2013 Small Business Success Study, which surveyed 2,000 small business owners and is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, reveals that small business owners may be taking a more conservative approach to running their businesses despite more feeling optimistic the economy will strengthen this year.

Key points:
  • Slow economic growth, taxes and healthcare costs continue to top the list of major risks to small businesses this year.
  • However, fewer small business owners cited those factors as major business risks than last year.
  • Taken together, it suggests they’re adjusting to a new kind of economic climate.
The study also reveals:
  • Many small business owners say they have not taken more risks over the past six months.
  • Factors that contribute to their business success are shifting.
  • Most small business owners at least somewhat informed on Affordable Care Act, but split on its impact.
More on how business owners are responding to today’s economic realities:

Factors considered by small business owners as major risks to their businesses have declined since fall 2012: Slow economic growth (59% in 2013, 67% in 2012), Taxes (42% in 2013, 59% in 2012), Health care costs (40% in 2013, 53% in 2012), Uncertainty with ferderal regulations (30% in 2013, 56% in 2012)
However, they feel these are major risks because they could significantly impact their bottom line.

This year, owners are slightly more conservative with the overal level of risk they are taking with their business... Owners who rate themselves as conservative rather than risky: 79% in 2013, 74% in 2012. Owners who rate themselves as risky rather than conservative: 21% in 2013, 27% in 2012.

Click on each of these links to learn more about study findings related to:

Risk  |  Business Success  |  The Affordable Care Act

Additional Success Study information:

Executive Summary  |  2012 Success Study  |  2011 Success Study

Small Business Pulse, a survey conducted in 2012 by The Hartford revealed that female small business owners feel more confident in the success of their business than their male counterparts and take a more cautious approach to business risk.


Hartford vs. the Nation

Fewer small business owners in Hartford, CT, are optimistic about
the local economy as compared to peers across the country.

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Small Business Poll



Liam McGee hosts a small business discussion in Hartford.

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