Small businesses form the backbone of the U.S. economy -- more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create approximately two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. In other words, it's much more than mere political rhetoric to say that when small businesses succeed, America succeeds.
After a few years of economic struggle, small business growth is in an upswing. Business is booming or growing for over half of U.S. small businesses, and 70 percent believe the second half of 2014 will be even better than the first half, according to a recent Rocket Lawyer survey.
Small businesses have much to feel optimistic about as we head into the second half of 2014. Here are four of the most notable areas:
1. Hiring Surges
Small businesses are busier than ever, with many reporting rising revenues and business growth. This peak in revenue is also impacting hiring decisions, as 44 percent of small businesses plan to hire in the next six months. Specifically, small businesses are looking to hire more salespeople, marketing/communications talent and administrative support. Looking for a job or to make a move in these sectors? Perhaps now is a good time to start looking.
2. Minimum Wage Increase? No Problem
There has been so much media buzz over the negative effects of raising the minimum wage, but surprisingly a majority of small businesses don't believe an increase in the minimum wage will affect their businesses at all. And it's not even a partisan issue -- the survey shows that more than half of Republicans (52 percent) and over two-thirds of Democrats (69 percent) believe an increase will not impact their business.
3. New Opportunities for Growth
With the economy turning itself around, small business owners are seeing many opportunities for growth in several sectors. Namely, they expect to see the most growth in the technology industry, as this is a sector that continues to thrive well beyond the Silicon Valley. Moreover, despite fears that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would devastate the U.S. healthcare sector, small businesses owners see healthcare as one of most opportunistic sectors overall.
4. Legal Anxiety on the Decline
Dealing with a legal business issue can strike fear into the heart of the small business owner. In the past, the complexity and potential expense have deterred SMBs from seeking legal counsel. However, legal anxiety appears to be on the decline, as the number of small businesses that experienced a legal issue decreased to 33 percent from the previous year. However, complying with government regulations (26 percent) and debt collection (17 percent) are the top legal concerns for small businesses.
Recently, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE organized National Small Business week to recognize the outstanding work small businesses are doing each day to create quality jobs, drive innovation, and increase America's global competitiveness. And as far as the numbers are concerned, things are looking up, so perhaps it's your turn -- do you have an idea that needs to be realized? Perhaps the time is now!
Lisa Honey is the Business Lead for Rocket Lawyer's Legal Documents business line. She left the traditional practice of law after seven years in commercial and civil litigation to join Rocket Lawyer. She's licensed in California, Texas and Arkansas.