Capital One SMB Outlook

Jun. 21, 2013 5:09 PM ET
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Jennifer Lynn is a proficient investor, executive and manager working with analytics data to drive smart business decisions. Technology, eCommerce, Management, Healthcare, Consulting, Strategy. Passionate for Finance, IT & Emerging Markets. Email: consultbydigital @

Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF) According to Capital One's second quarter 2013 survey Spark Small Business Barometer, small businesses in the United States economic environment is expected to gauge economic, financial and business conditions throughout the rest of the year. This in combination with the economy today, has made a dramatic after effect on American behavior, overall American consumer behavior, spending habits and lifestyle changes. "Our survey results for the second quarter indicate that while optimism and confidence are on the rise and more small businesses are on sound financial footing, concerns and uncertainty continue to hold back plans for staffing increases and growth," stated Jon Witter, President of Direct, Consumer and Small Business Banking at Capital One. "While many small businesses have seen an uptick in sales over the past six months, this is not necessarily translating into significant new hires or investments in the business."

Small business confidence is positive that financial revenues would increase in six months (45 percent), a 7 point increase from Q4 2012 (38 percent) and a 2 percent increase from Q2 2012 (43 percent). Forty-one percent of small businesses report they believe their financial positions will be about the same in six months.

In the United States, 67 percent of small business do not plan on hiring next month. 30-38 percent of companies plan to hire additional employees in the next six months. Small Business owners outlook has remained stagnant conservatively since 2009 as they prefer to wait for further updates from Washington, tax and regulation standards results.

Challenges arose due to the weakened economy has led Americans to cut back on driving, instead taking public transportation to avoid rising costs of fuel. As a result, the demand for gasoline has slowed with Americans becoming more fuel-efficient. Convenience is key. The outlook of the future of today's economy has impact on how much money individuals earn. If earnings stay high, then consumers will obviously keep spending and keep the economy growing. Consumer spending affects 70% of today's economic output.

The U.S. annual Small Business Week (June 17-21) recognizes and supports millions of small businesses. China, India, and Russia are also likely to emerge as significant players over the next two decades, a development that will give Western companies major short-term cost-reduction opportunities that they must capture. Capital One's second quarter 2013 survey Spark Small Business Barometer and Small Business Week are significant milestones which also bring out the present challenges that are faced by small businesses.

Investors outlook towards the right market, trends and technologies for small business will see success. There are growth markets thriving such as mobile which provide cost savings options. The small business' opportunity to reach more consumers is there. Having a strong understanding of small business behaviors, customer needs and how it impacts their purchasing decisions is crucial. Success is driven by understanding. The ability to understand is important in the process as well expanding the small business network.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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