After a decade of economic growth, 2020 has been one of the most challenging times small businesses in the U.S. have faced in modern times. A global pandemic. Nearly 200,000 U.S. deaths, and rising. Crashing segments of the economy. Cultural reckoning relating to racial injustice. Tornados. Hurricanes. Forest fires. Job losses. Unemployment. And the closure of tens of thousands of businesses.
Yesterday, QuickBooks released the findings of a survey of 1,600 current and prospective small business owners on what they expect their futures to be.
One finding is especially promising — for all generations of small businesses: The future of small businesses includes hope.
The Future, as Predicted by Today’s Small Business Owners
23% | Working at home
The percentage of small businesses that will have a 100% remote workforce by next year
28% | Online sales boom
The percentage of small businesses that are selling more products and services online this year
94% | Coronavirus
Percentage of small businesses who say coronavirus influenced that change
86% | Rapid innovation
Percentage of small businesses that have developed new products and services this year have done so as a result of the coronavirus
45% | Surviving tough times
Of those surveyed, the percentage who applied for a government-backed relief program this year
61% | Percentage of applicants who were granted funds
42% | Side gig to small business
Percentage of those who surveyed who operate a “side gig” who plan on converting it into a full-time business
28% | Adversity sparks innovation
The percentage of those who say they want to start business during the next 12 months who say the coronavirus accelerated their plans
87% | Beyond digital
Percentage of those who plan on opening a small business within the next 12 months who say it will be a combination of online and offline
According to those survey, the fastest-growing industries for small businesses over the next 12 months will be accommodation and food services, arts and recreation, and retail
72% | New optimism
Percentage of those who plan on starting a business during the next 12 months who are optimistic about business prospects for the next 12 months (compared to 42% of current small business owners).
10% | Business planning
Less than 10% of potential business owners plan on writing a business business plan. (69% of current owners recommend it.)
The full report, including the survey methods, can be downloaded at the Quickbook website.