Owners of smaller companies are less worried about the economy than they were a year ago, a new survey finds. Right now, about 31% of business owners say the economy is their biggest concern, according to a study commissioned by small-business software maker Intuit Inc. That's down from 36% last year.
Intuit hired independent market-research firm Decipher to gauge the optimism of that sector of the economy and to find out how companies will fuel their growth.
A bit more than one-third of business owners surveyed say they are, indeed, fixing to expand their company. And more say they'll do it through productivity-boosting business technology than by hiring more people.
Fully 39% say they'll grow by buying new software and hardware, 27% are depending on marketing initiatives, and only 11% will expand their payroll.
The base of respondents comprised 755 owners of companies with fewer than 250 workers that had been open at least two years.