The Topeka Independent Business Association (TIBA) recently completed its eighth annual Small Business Climate Survey. Participants were asked about their actual business results during 2017 as well as their expectations for 2018.
A wide range of topics were covered in the survey including: revenues, profit, employee headcount, employment costs, benefit costs and taxes. A broad spectrum of business sectors were represented by the respondents including: service, retail, financial services and construction. 46 local small businesses participated in the survey, 65% were TIBA members and 35% were non-TIBA members. Over half (60%) of the responding businesses reported annual sales of less than $1 million.
The survey found that almost 70% of the Topeka-area small businesses are optimistic about overall business for 2018 (The highest number in the survey’s 8-year history) with 24% being neutral. 67% are predicting growth in revenue/sales in 2018.
A large portion of respondents said they had experienced cost and tax increases in 2017, and they anticipate continued cost increases in 2018 in such areas as, wages, employment, benefits and taxes. Taxes, benefits and employment costs increases impacted the most survey participants.
According to this survey, employment numbers will grow at 30% of the participating businesses for 2018. 28% of the businesses reported growth in number of employees in 2017, while 45% reported no change in headcount.
When polled about the biggest concern they had for their business going forward, the top responses listed were: overall sales/business; finding/retaining employees, overall costs, taxes and government regulations.
TIBA conducts this survey annually to help guide TIBA’s activities and public policies, and to keep the public aware of the small business climate in the area.
TIBA would like to thank the Washburn University School of Business for their help in creating the survey and evaluating the results.