Alignable’s January 2023 Road to Recovery Report is out and the forecast is rather optimistic. After a rough 2022 for many small business owners, 61% feel that 2023 should be a good year for them, despite high inflation, rising interest rates, fears of recession, increasing rents, and other financial obstacles. And of that group, 26% said 2023 could be “great,” helping them expand and thrive.
This latest report is based on responses from 5,703 randomly selected small business owners polled from 12/31/22 to 1/19/23, along with past data gathered from 690,000 other SMB owners since March 2020.
Here are a few other key statistics:
56% say they’re more optimistic about their business success now than in Jan. 2022.
While small business owners say inflation’s still their No. 1 concern, the percentage of those worried about it has declined from 32% to 30% in the past month. And those saying they don’t have any major financial concerns jumped to 20% in Jan., up five percentage points from just 15% in Dec.
The cost of supplies also has declined. In December, 40% of SMB owners told us supplies were 25% or higher compared to pre-COVID prices. But that percentage dropped to 34% this month.
But the news is not all good, unfortunately. While 45% said customer counts are up for them, only 38% said they’re generating as much revenue monthly as they did before COVID. So, there’s still a long way to go before it can be said most businesses have bounced back.
SMB owners estimate it will take at least until Q1 2024 for most small businesses to fully recover to pre-COVID revenue levels.
And while optimism is higher than usual right now, 56% also say they fear a recession could hit this year, which would bring more economic trouble.
The survey learned that 61% are feeling good about their prospects in the coming year – and more than one-quarter of them said they expect 2023 to be “great” for their businesses. And when asked to compare this year’s outlook to last, they found 56% of businesses were more optimistic heading into 2023 than they were a year prior