The numbers vary but two polls issued today are consistent about one thing – you’re generally optimistic about the economy and your own business outlook in particular. According to a Small Business Opinion Poll commissioned by EMPLOYERS, small business insurance specialist, 45 percent of those surveyed are expecting revenue growth this year versus 17 percent who are expecting declines. Furthermore, 44 percent believe the U.S. economy will improve in 2012, which is slightly down from last year when 46 percent thought the economy would improve.

The EMPLOYERS survey of 500 owners or managers of small businesses with 1-99 full-time employees also found:

  • 23 percent are currently at pre-recession revenue levels
  • 21 percent are currently hiring versus just 15 percent a year ago
  • 21 percent plan to hire additional part-time or seasonal workers for the summer

You’re also worrying less — 40 percent of respondents don’t worry about their businesses versus only 30 percent who did NOT lose sleep in 2011 worrying. Even those who worry are more focused on issues related to growing their business (20 percent) rather than issues not in their control like the economy.

j2 Global Small Business Survey

Even more optimistic poll results

A poll from cloud services provider j2 Global indicates even more optimism. Its recent Small Business Survey of over 1000 small business owners found that 76 percent are optimistic about growth for the rest of the year, with only 7 percent pessimistic and another 17 percent uncertain until after the election.

Not surprising, younger business owners are the most optimistic: 85 percent of Millennials (32 years old and younger) say they are bullish, with 81 percent of Generation X (ages 33-47), 71 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 48-66), and 64 percent of Seniors (over 67 years old), expecting growth for their business.

The j2 poll also indicated the growing importance of social media and mobile technology. More than one in three businesses (39 percent) say a quarter of their marketing strategy now focuses on social media, while 26 percent say it is half or more of their marketing strategy. Also 38 percent of iPad users currently leverage five or more mobile apps to run their business.

Are you among those optimistic that things are looking up for your business? What do you project for this year over last?