Though recent stock market highs may suggest an economy on the mend, small business owners were not feeling so optimistic about their economic futures at the start of 2013.
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In an annual Small Business Survey conducted by Brother, 58% of the 500 small businesses surveyed reported high levels of stress, compared to 55% in 2012. Additionally, 41% of owners felt that 2012 turned out to be worse than expected.
And the stress seems to have many small business owners holding more tightly to their cash: 48% of owners feel that stockpiling cash is a better strategy to ensure that they will be able to survive an economic downturn. The remaining 52%, however, feel that investing in their businesses to gain a competitive advantage will help them stay afloat.
It’s not all bad news, though. The percentage of business owners experiencing “extreme” levels of stress seems to be on a downward trend, despite the rise in stress overall.
Only 13% of business owners said that their stress levels were at their highest levels ever, while 24% said that they experienced their most intense periods of stress in 2012.