Many formerly employed consumers may have decided that getting a job like the one they held before the recession may be close to impossible. For some, a fresh start has entailed opening their own business. Industry experts estimate that 25 million micro businesses – those with between 1 and 10 employees – operate across the country. These business owners are feeling positive about their future and they’re increasing their marketing efforts.
The quarterly Small Business Happiness index, published by Vistaprint, is based on survey results from 1,900 micro businesses across the country. Right now, these businesses believe 2012 holds great promise. In the past few months, they have:
- Increased customer counts 79%
- Increased revenues 71%
The details behind these numbers are even more encouraging. While 29% of these owners increased their customer count by 30, another 36% found between 1 and 10 new customers. Revenue grew between 11%-19% for 28%. For another 25%, revenue rose between 1% and 10%.
To continue growing, these business owners plan to boost marketing. The channels that were linked to most effective new revenue and customer generation are:
- Word of mouth 54%
- Social media 13%
- Referrals 25%
- Direct mail 25%
- Website 16%
Commenting on these findings, Don LeBlanc, chief marketing officer of Vistaprint's North American Business Unit, expects that microbusinesses will continue to find ways to “bridge the gap between online and offline marketing” as they seek to achieve their goals.[Source: Micro Businesses Report Growth in Customers and Revenue. Visaprint.com. 27 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 Mar. 2012]