This Year Could Make or Break Many Small Businesses: Report

A recent survey from workplace messaging company Slack found that 2024 could be a pivotal year for many small businesses.

Slack surveyed 2,000 small business owners, half of whom were in the tech or retail sectors, and mapped out several trends about the state of small businesses going into 2024. More than one-third of respondents (32%) stated that they aren’t sure if their businesses will make it through this year, and 38% said that they were more worried about their business this year than they were at the start of 2023.

The small business owners surveyed blamed a tough job market, rising inflation, and residual effects from the pandemic, all of which are making them more worried now than they were last year.

The pandemic reshuffled the labor force as nearly 100 million workers quit their jobs from 2021 to 2022; the professional and business services sectors consistently experienced labor shortages during that time and afterward. Factors like rising rents pushed U.S. inflation higher than expected in January.

Still, the majority of respondents (71%) remained optimistic about how their businesses will fare this year, and 26% said they were less worried now than they were last year.

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Regardless of whether or not they felt worried or optimistic, almost 75% of small business owners stated that they are still working hard to improve their impact, prepare for emergencies, and broaden their business.

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Jaime DeLanghe, vice president of product management at Slack, told Salesforce that the outcomes of the survey show that small business owners want to “maximize efficiency with limited resources.”

Another recent report surveying small businesses from Intuit QuickBooks showed that the top priority of small business owners this year is increasing revenue, ahead of other goals like launching new products.