Starting a business can bring life-changing prosperity, but research shows timing is key to success.
Newly published research by Bank of America suggests this year is a good time to take the next step toward becoming an entrepreneur. A survey of 1,000 owners participating in the 2018 Bank of America Business Advantage Small Business Owner Report shows a 25 percent increase of positive outlooks by entrepreneurs since the survey two years ago.
Fifty-four percent of business owners say they expect the national economy to continue improving in 2018, compared with just 29 percent who expected improvement in 2016.
While there are no specific numbers relative to entrepreneurship in Flint, Bank of America officials say small business communities in both Flint and Detroit are represented in the summary.
“As Flint recovers from the water crisis, Bank of America continues to operate in the city and help small business owners get the support they need to grow,” says Mohamad Hammoud, Bank of America’s small business banking market manager for Michigan. “We are very hopeful and optimistic the city can make a strong comeback, just as the city of Detroit is doing.”
Flint residents interested in joining the positive trend of business ownership have a friend in Bank of America, Hammoud adds.
“Through our lending solutions small business owners are getting the additional capital they need to manage their cash flow and finance an owner-occupied, commercial real estate property,” he says.
“We’re finding a lot of confidence in the entrepreneurs because they have support around them,” Hammoud says. “We educate them and tell them, ‘This is what you need to grow and get the funding you’re going to want in the next two years, to grow your business and get it to where you want it.’”
Millennials and young adults are among the most ambitious entrepreneurs Bank of America supports. The Small Business Owner report found that their ideas and innovative ways of delivering services are part of a majority preference by business owners to use mobile devices in basic tasks, digital banking and other day-to-day management. Millennials are even more likely to use devices for hiring staff, according to the research.
State government initiatives have helped make Michigan more entrepreneur-friendly for aspiring business owners of all ages.
“Due to the tax reform,” Hammoud says, “companies in Michigan are expecting more savings and looking to use that additional savings to expand their business.”
Regardless of experience, Bank of America is available to support continued interest in Flint’s entrepreneurship, Hammoud says. A main goal is to help owners succeed past the one-year and 16-month marks that frequently see small companies close, due to lack of proper preparation.
“With the right business idea, owning property, having the capital to work, and getting the right support, small business owner’s confidence is at its highest since 2015,” he says.