NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- What's happening in small business today? 1. Things to consider before picking a franchise. Today's franchises come in all shapes and colors, from organic gardening to furniture repair. Franchises can offer a clear business plan and solid support system, but business owners should make sure the franchise they choose is right for them.
Before signing on the dotted line, according to Business News Daily, business owners should consider how much experience in the chosen industry is needed to run the franchise, if there is a need for your franchise and whether it is recession proof. 2. Black small-business owners optimistic about 2012. Black small-business owners are more than twice as likely than their white counterparts to plan enhanced employee benefits -- including providing more access to 401(k) plans -- over the next year or two, according to a survey by Nationwide Financial ( NFS) and Harris Interactive. The survey, released today, polled 501 small-business owners in early August. Twenty four percent of black owners plan to add a 401(k) plan or some other employee self-funded plan, versus 11% of all small-business owners, the survey found. Other findings include:
28% are likely to add health insurance (vs. 11%)
19% are likely to add life insurance (vs. 6%)
16% are likely to add a company-funded defined-benefit pension plan (vs. 5%)
14% are likely to add disability insurance (vs. 6%)
Plans to add employees benefits could mean a growing sense of optimism. Approximately 38% of black business owners expect their business to grow in the next year, compared with 21% of all other small-business owners. They are also twice as likely as other business owners to believe the U.S. economy will improve in the next 12 months.