Operations Team

Surveys say: Small businesses are growing revenues, hiring – and adding perks too

Last year, about 57% of small businesses saw revenues grow while 43% added employees to their payrolls, according to the Small Business Credit Survey produced by the Federal Reserve Bank. Both of these metrics increased over 2017 levels.

More findings: Credit demand held steady in 2018, with 43% of firms seeking external funding for their businesses. Roughly 32% turned to online lenders in 2018, up sharply from 24 percent in 2017 and just 19% in 2016. Another finding: the survey revealed finds that 48% of small business owners indicated their funding needs are satisfied, while 23%t have shortfall, and another 29% have unmet funding needs.

Also, 73% reported their production costs had increased in the prior 12 months. More than half of these firms raised the prices they charge. Firms that raised their prices were twice as likely to see profitability growth as firms that did not, according to the survey of 6.614 small businesses across the country in the second half of 2018.

Another recent survey, this one by Clutch, found that nearly half (47%) of small businesses offer benefits in 2019 and most frequently provide health benefits, retirement benefits, family leave, and paid time off in order to be competitive in recruiting and retain employees amid a tightening job market.

More findings:

  • 28% of small businesses offer 11 to 15 days of PTO, and only 5% offer fewer than 5 business days of PTO.
  • More than half of small businesses (56%) plan to offer new benefits in 2019. Of those, 19% are considering offering PTO; 8% plan to introduce student loan repayment.
  • 30% of small businesses that plan to offer new benefits in 2019 say they are doing so to fulfill employee requests.

Small businesses should consider which benefits will most effectively attract new job candidates and reduce turnover.  Be creative. Sometimes offering flexilible schedules or remote work options will appeal to recruits. Perhaps tuition reimbursement, student loan repayment, professional development courses or wellness perks like gym memberships will be as attractive to some employees at their stage of life as the retirement plan.

According to a 2018 study by business mentoring organization SCORE, workplace benefits and perks are often more important to employees than higher pay. Here are the percentages of employees who said they would take the following perks/benefits into account when choosing an employer, according to SCORE:

  • Flexible hours: 88%
  • More vacation time: 80%
  • Work-from-home options: 80%
  • Student loan assistance: 48%
  • Paid maternity/paternity leave: 42%
  • Free gym membership: 39%

How does your small business compare?

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READ MORE: Hiring? It’s a jungle out there. Creativity may be key

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