Though the new year is still young, companies around the country continue to focus on improving their abilities strongly in the near future, with many surveys backing up these findings.

According to the Rochester Business Journal, a recent survey taken by payroll services company SurePayroll found that optimism for the beginning of 2014 is up compared to the previous year. The December 2013 survey's results found that 70 percent of small business owners feel optimistic about the near future, which was a rise of 15 percent from one year before.

"We saw a year of recovery in 2013. Seeing that optimism is higher going into 2014 gives us reason to believe small-business owners are confident about the future, which typically results in increased hiring and growth," said Michael Atler, the president and CEO of SurePayroll.

In addition, the survey found that fewer companies are looking toward the use of independent contractors, which Atler took as a sign that companies may finally be ready to invest in full-time hires in the year to come. Small business hiring boosting its payrolls is a sign of future financial stability and strength, he added.

Revenue, marketing to grow in 2014
Optimism isn't the only emphasis that businesses are taking this early in the year, according to Pizza Marketplace. Citing a survey from cloud business management software company ShopKeep POS, 94 percent of small business respondents are also expecting to increase their revenue in the upcoming year. Another 60 percent plan to either boost their marketing efforts or expand their available product lines.

"We are seeing an overall shift in the way small business owners are approaching their strategies for the New Year," said Jason Richelson, the founder and CEO of ShopKeep POS. "They are starting to think big and take advantage of data, social media and DIY marketing to stay competitive, much more so than we have seen before."

In the survey's more in-depth figures, 29 percent of respondents planned to increase their marketing, investing in their own means instead of through traditional platforms. More than half aim to use email marketing and social media, and 54 percent plan to invest in websites or e-commerce.

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