ShopKeep, a cloud-based technology provider with more than 16,000 registers in use by retail shops, restaurants, and other organizations, announced the release of the Q1 2015 ShopKeep Small Business Index (SSBI).
The SSBI, which draws upon insights gathered from a survey of 1,480 ShopKeep merchants as well as first quarter same-store sales data, reveals that small businesses are growing, and by all accounts, are the strongest in recent years.
Following a strong holiday season, survey respondents reported their highest revenue and optimism to date. 96 percent of business owners are confident about the current state of their businesses, versus the current U.S. average of 65 percent and 97 percent of respondents expressed optimism about the success of their businesses one year from now.
Revenue increased for 75 percent of ShopKeep merchants over the last six months and 90 percent of respondents anticipate revenue to continue growing over the next six months.
Other findings include:
- 68 percent of survey respondents reported an increase in net profits over the last six months
- Same-store sales data revealed a 11 percent increase in the revenue during Q1 2015 as compared to Q1 2014
- ShopKeep merchants also saw a 17 percent increase in the number of transactions during Q1 2015 as compared to Q1 2014
- Q1 2015 sales figures reflect a 25 percent increase in revenue for restaurants and bars as compared to Q1 2014
This quarter, ShopKeep also surveyed merchants on the resources they rely on to run their businesses. ShopKeep found that 60 percent of respondents are first-time business owners and look to trusted accountants, bookkeepers, or financial advisors for advice and support, followed by family and friends (54 percent), online resources (55 percent) and other small businesses owners (43 percent).
ShopKeep also asked its business owners about the challenges and government policies they foresee impacting the future health and survival of their businesses. Despite this quarter’s strong profits, 61 percent of merchants identified tax and regulatory policy as a potential concern, followed by concerns about economic uncertainty (44 percent), retaining a quality workforce (42 percent), and the cost and availability of health insurance for employees (27 percent).
“Each quarter, we conduct this survey to offer some insight into the health of small businesses and identify emerging trends and topics that are currently top of mind for independent business owners,” says ShopKeep president and CEO Norm Merritt. “It is encouraging to see the overwhelming optimism in the small business sector as we head into the second quarter of the year, but even with this positive outlook, we’re finding that independent merchants are relying heavily on each other and local resources to run their businesses.”