What are U.S. small business owners thinking about their sales, advertising, online/mobile marketing, and social networking? What do they have to do to stay at the top of their customer's mind? Ad-ology's Small Business Marketing Forecast answers these questions and reveals insight into how business owners can tackle these challenging markets. C. Lee Smith, President
Tag: small business
Even the smallest business operators are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A significant minority of businesses with 4 or fewer employees says the economy has somewhat improved in the past 12 months. As a result, these small businesses plan to increase advertising, especially online, this year.
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.
Best of 2010: Small business owners are growing increasingly sophisticated with their use of online search advertising and with their ability to transform the consumer information they capture into good leads.
After a prolonged stretch of dour forecasts, more small and medium-size business (SMBs) owners are saying conditions have improved. According to the Office Depot Small Business Index, confidence among small business owners is rising when they consider the next 6 months. This confidence encompasses sales, profits, and capital spending.
Small business lending remains constrained across the U.S. Loans outstanding in the first quarter of 2010 stood at $670 billion, substantially lower than the $710 billion level in 2008. The Federal Reserve, understanding that small businesses employ half of U.S. workers and generate an even larger percentage of job growth, has been looking into why banks aren’t lending to this crucial sector. Some analysts say businesses are being cautious and not seeking financing. Other analysts indicate that banks are being too conservative when lending to small businesses.
It’s often said that small businesses are the machines that drive the engine of the U.S. economy. So it’s good news that about half (51%) of these business owners believe their revenue streams will fully recover by the end of this year. This is just one of the findings from FedEx’s Sign of the Times Small Business Survey. Another key survey result indicates that established business owners (in business for 5+ years) do not plan to spend as much this year as owners of less-established businesses.
Are small business owners finally seeing the light at the end of the recession's tunnel? The results of the Small Business Attitude survey taken by Constant Contact point to an improved state of affairs. About 70% of the 7,000 survey respondents say they expect business to grow moderately or significantly this year. And over 1/3 of businesses in this survey have 4 or fewer employees which means they are likely watching every penny.
Small business owners are growing increasingly sophisticated with their use of online search advertising and with their ability to transform the consumer information they capture into good leads. These findings comes from WebVisible’s latest State of Small Business Online Advertising for the 4th quarter of 2009. Important metrics from this study include the following:
Last week I highlighted WebVisible’s report on the increased use of search marketing by small businesses. Another research concern, VerticalResponse also reported that search engine marketing will be a key 2010 expenditure for smaller operators. And according to VerticalResponse, small business owners are planning a number of budget cuts to traditional media formats next year.
Small businesses are continuing to invest in online search marketing campaigns to reach new and existing clients. According to WebVisible’s 2009 Q3 Report on the State of Small Business Online Advertising small business owners upped their search marketing by 91% between the third quarter of 2008 and the third quarter of 2009. What accounts for this huge increase?