Hispanic entrepreneurs are increasingly optimistic about the future – what lies ahead in the next year and even the next decade to come – and see their heritage as an important advantage to their success.
According to the second annual Bank of America Hispanic Small Business Owner Spotlight, surveying Hispanic entrepreneurs nationwide, the majority believe the national economy (60 percent) and their local economies (67 percent) will improve in 2018 – much higher than their non-Hispanic counterparts (46 percent and 48 percent, respectively).
Hispanic entrepreneurs are also more bullish on revenue and hiring in the year ahead. Seventy-one percent believe their revenue will increase in 2018, compared to just half of non-Hispanic small business owners. They are also more than twice as likely to plan to hire more employees in the year ahead (37 percent, versus 16 percent of non-Hispanic small business owners).
“Hispanic small business owners expect robust economic growth, higher revenue and increased hiring in 2018,” said Elizabeth Romero, Small Business Central Division executive, Bank of America. “As one of the fastest-growing segments of the small business sector, Hispanic entrepreneurs also anticipate strong long-term growth, and are leveraging digital tools, social media and their community to ensure they continue to flourish in the evolving small business climate.”
These optimistic sentiments appear to extend well into the future. Seventy-seven percent of Hispanic small business owners report growth plans over the next five years, while only half of non-Hispanic entrepreneurs cite the same. A strong majority (89 percent) also believe the business environment for Hispanic entrepreneurs will strengthen in the next decade.
Hispanic business owners see heritage as a key differentiator
While two-thirds of Hispanic small business owners believe they face unique challenges, many say their heritage provides an advantage with respect to:
• Business growth (43 percent say their heritage helps, versus 16 percent who say their heritage harms; 41 percent say it has no impact).
• Customer development and retention (42 percent say it helps, versus 15 percent who say it harms; 43 percent say it has no impact).
• Networking (39 percent say it helps, versus 23 percent who say it harms; 38 percent say it has no impact).
Hispanic small business owners trailblazing in social media use, reporting a positive impact on their bottom line
According to the survey, Hispanic entrepreneurs lead their non-Hispanic peers by 20 percentage points in the use of digital tools to run their business (93 percent, compared to 73 percent of non-Hispanics). Three-quarters also report they are reliant on social media in running their business, versus just 40 percent of their non-Hispanic counterparts.
In addition, a solid majority of those Hispanic entrepreneurs who are active on social media use it to connect with clients and peers – including to market their business (78 percent, compared to 49 percent of non-Hispanics), network (76 percent, compared to 46 percent of non-Hispanics) and share updates with customers (74 percent, compared to 39 percent of non-Hispanics).
The heavy use is paying off, as 53 percent say social media engagement has a positive impact on their bottom line (versus 29 percent of non-Hispanic entrepreneurs), and 86 percent say the feedback they receive on social media channels is important to the success of their business (versus 47 percent of non-Hispanic entrepreneurs). Social media is also helping Hispanic businesses get off the ground, with 66 percent saying it was important when starting their business, versus 21 percent of non-Hispanic small business owners.
Employee talent and in-person community networks driving success
Hispanic entrepreneurs value their employees as an integral part of business success, and view in-person communities as a significant contributor to business and professional growth.
Eighty-one percent of Hispanic small business owners believe their ability to attract and retain quality employees directly impacts their growth. Additionally, Hispanic entrepreneurs (87 percent) are much more likely than their non-Hispanic counterparts (54 percent) to take specific actions to reward and motivate their employees, including:
• Forty-one percent provide employees flexible hours or the option to work remotely, compared to 34 percent of non-Hispanic small business owners.
• Thirty-three percent offer employee perks, compared to 16 percent of non-Hispanic entrepreneurs.
• Twenty-seven percent have employee reward or bonus programs, compared to 14 percent of non-Hispanic small business owners.
Sixty-four percent of Hispanic entrepreneurs rely primarily on in-person interactions when connecting on matters relevant to their business growth, while 36 percent prefer to connect virtually. Similarly, 59 percent of Hispanic business owners say they receive more support to run their business from those in their physical community, while 41 percent lean more on virtual communities.
For a complete, in-depth look at the insights of the nation’s Hispanic small business owners, read the full 2018 Bank of America Hispanic Small Business Owner Spotlight.
Bank of America Hispanic Small Business Owner Spotlight
GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications conducted the Bank of America Hispanic Small Business Owner Spotlight survey between August 8 and September 28, 2017, using a pre-recruited online sample of Hispanic and non-Hispanic small business owners. GfK contacted a national sample of 1,013 small business owners in the United States with annual revenue between $100,000 and $4,999,999 and employing between 2 and 99 employees, as well as 394 interviews among Hispanic small business owners, 149 of whom were primary Spanish speakers. The final results were weighted to national benchmark standards for size, revenue, and region, and, for the Hispanic augment, whether the respondents were primarily English-speaking or Spanish-speaking.