Business owners who operate with fewer than 10 employees remain concerned about the economy. A significant majority of this group says the recession is not over. But over half said that their 2010 business was equal to or better than the previous year. This experience has led many of these operators to make advertising and business development top priorities in 2011.
About 2/3’s of small business owners who replied to Manta’s Pulse of Small Business Survey say the recession is not over. During the past couple of years, operators have taken a number of steps to cut expenses, including paring back their own pay (31%) and reducing the marketing budget (17%). However, top spending categories for 2011 reveal optimism on the part of these small business owners. Here are the percentages of owners saying the following categories are a top priority this year:
- Advertising and marketing 23%
- New business development 24%
The report follows a newly released study by Ad-ology which found that 46% of small to midsize businesses expect to spend more on advertising and marketing this year. The Ad-ology report also found that small business owners have a big interest in social media. The Manta report indicates up to 42% of businesses with fewer than 10 employees find social media useful. Another 14% plan to use social media in the near future.
While small business owners may say the recession is not over, their plan to increase advertising and marketing expenditures points to an improved optimism. This is often the first major step toward economic expansion.
[Sources: Small Business Marketing Forecast. 2009–2011. Ad-ology Research. Manta Small Business Survey: Marketing a Priority in 2011, Social Media to Benefit. 2011. Web. 1 Feb. 2011]