Even though the November elections are 10 months away, entrepreneurs and small business owners are still focused on run-of-the-mill business issues more than politics as 2016 kicks off. In a study done by Manta released yesterday, January 5, longstanding business issues took the top spots for areas of concern.
Manta’s Semi-Annual Wellness Index asked small business owners to evaluate their businesses and share their concerns for 2016. While regular business issues rank high on the list, the political landscape is still a concern, albeit a smaller one.
At the very top of the list, small business owners are worried about lack of capital (29 percent), competition (17 percent), lack of good employees (16 percent), and taxes (13 percent) at the end of 2015. Going into 2016, the quality of partnerships and vendors are of concern, at 25 percent of respondents. Those are all issues that are standard for many businesses and don’t necessarily tie in to the political landscape.
Politics and government stay on the SMB radar
However, Manta’s study also found that small business owners and entrepreneurs are keeping political issues in their peripheral vision. At the end of 2015, small business owners pointed to the cost of healthcare (6 percent), lack of government support (6 percent), and rise in minimum wage (2 percent) as concerns occupying the bottom of their lists. But the study also found that an unstable global economy worries entrepreneurs and small business owners (29 percent), as well as healthcare costs (22 percent), presidential election results (12 percent), and rising minimum wage (11 percent).
Small business owners and entrepreneurs also want help from their communities, particularly as the economy and business climate shifts in the next year. SMBs want help from their local governments to understand tax law changes, as well as for their local governments to understand small business challenges and development. They also want leaders who will promote the importance of small businesses, programs that connect small businesses with quality partners, and better funding and financing.
“This year will bring major changes at the federal and state levels. Small business owners especially must be cognizant of what’s going on within their industries and adjust accordingly,” said Manta CEO John Swanciger in a press release. “Entrepreneurs are dealing with the moving parts that come with running a business. They’re trying to figure out where they should focus in 2016, and they’re looking to their communities for help.”
One thing that small business owners and entrepreneurs can do is learn more about their communities. Only 10 percent of small business owners blame the government’s regulation as a reasons for businesses to fail, and only 4 percent believe that a lack of government support kills small business. The support is there, and it’s up to small businesses to find it.