Small businesses remain optimistic while adapting to current challenges

Editorial Team

2 min read
Woman packing boxes for online orders

Despite the growing obstacles over the last year, 88% of small business owners remain optimistic about the road ahead. In 2022, supply chain challenges, rising costs and hiring shortages all impacted small businesses, yet they remain resilient.

A survey of small business owners across the U.S. who utilize Clover technology revealed how they are responding to current challenges.

#1 concern – rising costs

With inflation hovering around 9% in the U.S., 41% of small business owners say their most significant concern is how the rising costs of goods and materials will impact their business. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of SMBs said their costs have worsened in the last year. Business owners said their primary means of managing rising costs was to pass the increase on to the customer (35%); others noted they were reducing overhead (20%) and hours of operations (8%).

Clover Q3 2022 survey results infographic on rising costs

Maintaining sales and margins

Despite costs rising, many small business owners have been effective in maintaining sales and profit margins. 40% of small business owners said their sales have increased in 2022, while another 40% have been able to maintain sales year over year. Similarly, 70% of small business owners said their profit margins are either level with 2021 or have increased in the last year.

Clover Q3 2022 survey results infographic slice 2

Small business hiring

As unemployment rates remain at historic lows, many small business owners are struggling to fill roles. Of businesses that have made a hire in the last six months, 44% indicated that hiring was more difficult than before the pandemic. What creative ways are these small businesses using to find new employees? 22% said employee referrals are their primary source; 16% said they are using social media to source new candidates.

Clover Q3 2022 survey results infographic slice 3

Optimism reigns despite a cloudy outlook

Despite high inflation and rising costs of talent and goods/materials, the large majority of SMBs (88%) are cautiously to overly optimistic about the remainder of the year. Small business optimism is highest among businesses located in the Midwest and South; optimism was lowest in the Mid-Atlantic.

Clover Q3 2022 survey results infographic slice 4

Data cited is from a Clover Customer Survey on small business trends conducted by Fiserv. The survey, conducted in July 2022, contains data gathered from nearly 400 small business owners who use Clover technology to simplify running their businesses.

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