As a small business owner, I get it. I know what it’s like when gas prices go through the roof. I understand the challenges of getting loans in a tight credit market. And health insurance issues… don’t even get me started.

When I saw the just-released Sage survey of small business concerns, I was curious to see if other small business owners have the same outlook as I do.

According to Jennifer Warawa, senior director of partner programs at Sage, the top concerns small businesses consistently voice include:

  • Running the businesses on reduced staff

  • Dealing with rising costs and regulatory issues

  • Attracting and keeping new customers

  • Waiting for consumers to start spending again

  • Finding ways to retain skilled employees


Small business owners also said reduction of bureaucracy (56%), business taxes (48%), and the national debt (48%) should be priorities to help small businesses. Some of those are a little different than the issues I grapple with, but I can still relate.

“On a brighter note, attendees indicated that while the construction and real estate sectors have taken a serious beating over the past couple of years, the real estate market is slowly coming back, and non-profits are regaining some momentum,” Warawa says. “While they are cautious, many small businesses are hoping that things will continue to improve in 2011."

Clearly, things are getting better.  I read small business headlines every day. Small business bankruptcy filings are down. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is working to expand the definition of “small business” to help more entrepreneurs. Congress is also fighting for small businesses, knowing that they make up the backbone of the economy.

Be encouraged. If you’ve made it this far, the worst is behind you. And if you are just starting out, the best is before you. If you are thinking about starting a new business, check out this video from eHow:



What is your small business concerned about? What are you most optimistic about?