Why Are Small Business Owners So Optimistic?

3 min read • Dec 24, 2017 • Elizabeth B. Jensen

The numbers are in and in 2017, optimism is fueling small business success. According to the MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, more than 63 percent of small business owners have a positive outlook about their company and the small business environment in the U.S.

Another measure of small business owners’ outlook reached its highest reading in 34 years. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index spiked to 107.5 points in November, up 3.7 points from October.

What’s fueling this trend?

“Small business owners are exuberant about the economy, and they are ready to lead the U.S. economy in a period of robust growth,” said NIFB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “[They are also] paying very close attention to what is happening in Washington.”

Many small business owners are delighted by the possibilities from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act coming from Washington, and the business-friendly tone from the Trump administration.

“This is a dramatically different picture than owners presented during the 2009–2016 weak recovery under President Obama,” the NFIB added. “The change in the management team dramatically improved expectations. There is still much uncertainty about health care and taxes, but it appears that owners believe that whatever Congress finally comes up with will be an improvement and so they remain positive.”

Projections for growth

Small business owners have big plans for 2018, according to a Microsoft Store and SurveyMonkey study of trends for small businesses in in the coming year.

Small business optimism remains high and with this optimism comes thoughts of growth. The survey reports that 90 percent of small businesses plan to hire one or two employees next year, almost 40 percent plan to introduce a new product or service, and more than 35 percent feel it’s optimal to execute a new marketing strategy.

Keep optimism alive in 2018

A key trait of successful small business owners and entrepreneurs has always been relentless optimism. While there are obstacles standing in the path to success, naysayers offering their unwanted opinion, and all the stresses of day-to-day life, keeping or adopting a positive attitude can be a challenge.

If you’re not feeling optimistic as 2017 winds down, make it a resolution to become so in 2018. You may start by:

  1. Reevaluating your business plan and goals.
  2. Revamping your set plan for the months and years ahead.
  3. Looking for ways to scale your business.
  4. Predicting an increase in revenue for the coming year.

While small business owners were re-energized in 2017, and a vital part of the U.S. economy is on the upswing, that’s only part of the bigger picture. Data on optimism was collected before the end of net neutrality, which could affect many small businesses. Another top concern for small business owners, health care reform, has yet to gain traction among lawmakers, which could also impact the levels of small business growth and optimism in the coming year.



Elizabeth B. Jensen

Elizabeth Jensen has written for a variety of small businesses and travel organizations, including Visit Salt Lake and Ski Salt Lake. She has a B.A. in Public Relations.