And AZ Small Businesses Said…

What keeps you up at night?  What are the challenges you face in growing your business?

For the last year, O’Neil and Associates in partnership with the Arizona Small Business Association has been asking thousands of Arizona Small Business owners this question and others like it.  The study, the only one of its kind, gives great insights into what entrepreneurs need, especially in this challenging economy.  Even better, it has tracked the results over time, giving us a picture of the world evolving around us.

Mike is a brilliant researcher, and the data these reports – as well as others I have received over time have been an invaluable tool.  A tool that I used in my ASBA days to help shape policy, and today as a small business owner, use to shape the decisions I face each day.

Provided below is some of the great data released today. I’m not the expert on reading this data, Mike is.  So from this point on, the words are his…

O’Neil Associates/ASBA Economic Indicators Monitor

“Healthcare, Bank Lending Dominate Critical Issues for Arizona Businesses.

Housing Market, Government Regulation, Interest Rates, Skilled Workforce Follow in Importance”

– Mike O’Neil (


Healthcare costs (37%) and reduced lending by banks (35%) are most likely to be rated as critical issues by Arizona small businesses.  These are the dominant findings this quarter for the O’Neil Associates / ASBA Arizona Economic Indicators Monitor, a survey of the 3,000 members of the Arizona Small Businesses Association. We asked Arizona small
businesses to indicate how important each of ten separate issues were for their business. Each was rated as being either “critical,” “important,” “somewhat important,” or “not very important.” There is ample reason for focusing predominantly on issues which are considered to be absolutely critical. Only slightly less likely to be rated as critical are the housing market, excessive government regulation, interest rates, and skilled workforce.

When we add in those responses which considered items important, the rank ordering of responses tends to be similar; although, the relative importance given to interest rates, skilled workforce, and inflation is higher.

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Posted in Blog, Getting Back to Basics, Growth.