Small business surveys are a great way for interested operators to learn more about the current market and future expectations they'll see from their competitors. Two of the latest have shown that while optimism has been on a steady rise in recent months, there are still a few concerns that have some owners wary.

Optimism, sales' growth to be unfrozen
According to the National Federation of International Business, the latest small business optimism index released in early April saw the most recent results growing to cover more of the market. In March, small business optimism rose by two points, reversing a decline from the previous month and hitting a new total of 93.4 where 100 is a break-even point. However, that figure is still below the overall figure of 95, which hasn't been seen since the beginning of the recent recession.

This growth came from a number of different locations. Companies that planned to increase their inventories saw optimism grow, as did that of those expecting the economy to improve. Real sales and current inventory are also on the rise, as is the number of workers who believe the near future is the right time to expand.

In the past three months, there has also been an improvement in the number of firms experiencing higher sales. About 2 percent more businesses saw an increase of sales in that time, with more growth expected on the way.

Security remains a concern
A second survey has more long-term expectations for the growth of security in the country. After interviewing more than 700 small business owners, ADT found that nearly 80 percent of their owners were concerned about the potential that their merchandise could get stolen. Another 66 percent were worried about vandalism, with break-ins and online security also receiving more than half of the overall vote.

This survey found that companies are taking new approaches to their business solutions that can help protect their wares. Only about a third of businesses felt secure from theft, and potential changes in the market ranged from video surveillance to full business controls that can have all security access placed in a single application or hotspot. 

Equipment and business industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.