Small business owners today are increasingly focused on their overall health, including exercise and managing stress. According to the Bank of America spring 2013 Small Business Owner Report, 53% of small business owners believe their personal health is better as a result of running their small business. "The report found that small business owners are not only focused on improving the financial health of their company, [but] they are also focused on their own personal health and their employees' wellness," says Robb Hilson, small business executive at Bank of America.
Small business owners are also turning to innovative solutions to keep their employees satisfied, yet many are struggling to provide standard employee benefits. Nearly nine in 10 respondents say they have taken some steps to contribute to the happiness of their employees. Mark McCormack, owner of Identity Marketing Group (asi/229993), is also taking steps to encourage employee wellness by replacing soda with water in the company's refrigerator. "We are trying to provide a healthy environment by also allowing employees that would normally be trapped at a desk to take time and walk around outside or take a break at scheduled times throughout the day to breathe some fresh air," he says. "You would be amazed at the ideas that simply come from these breaks."
According to the Bank of America survey, small business owners also feel optimistic about the future of their businesses, but they are cautious about the forecast for the overall economy. More than 75% of respondents say recovery of consumer spending will be a significant factor in their success over the next 12 months. It's a statistic that industry insiders believe could bode well for sales of ad specialties moving forward. "People want a positive message and our industry supports these more positive marketing solutions," says McCormack. "We think the consumer outlook for our product is looking great and our industry will continue to grow."