This week was National Small Business Week. There have been forums, workshops, panels and other events happening all week in celebration of the folks who drive our economy: small business. The National Small Business of the Year will be announced this Friday.
The 2014 Cox Business Survey
Cox Business surveyed 601 small businesses across the United States. They recently published the findings of this survey. You can see the full results here. In this blog post, I want to share some of the results and the key things I took away from the survey.
Cox Business provides voice, data and video services for more than 300,000 small and regional businesses, including healthcare providers, K-12 and higher education, financial institutions and federal, state and local government organizations.
Overall, the survey, I believe, shows that business owners have a pretty positive outlook on the future. And this is great news for everyone.
Interestingly enough, economic uncertainty is still a major concern of small businesses. 88 percent were either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about economic uncertainty. The affordable care act was a close second behind the economy.
This may seem bleak, but of the business owners surveyed, most are actually quite optimistic. 67% have a positive view of their chances for success.
The winner when it comes to how best to communicate promotions and offers is email. Phone and in person events come in a close second and third.
Social media is surprisingly less popular than I personally expected. However, I never thought that social was the best competitor for email, phone, direct mail or other ways to tell customers about promotions (for many businesses but not all) anyway. It’s nice to see small businesses begin to understand this is not necessarily the best use of social media.
I hope that small business doesn’t view this stat as a reason to drop social media. While it is great to see them better understanding what ways it does and doesn’t work, social media is still quite important. Just not necessarily when it comes to making that direct, right now connection to get people to buy.
Although there are cases where I’ve seen social used very effectively to drive sales. However it usually involves paying for ads. And it depends upon the type of business and their marketing assets.
Another surprise was direct mail being quite low at only 11% considering it very effective. When done right, I have seen direct mail crush most other methods of advertising communication.
Most of these results were not surprising to me. Of course I am in a very unique situation. I speak to business owners every day about their marketing. So I see first hand what works and hear the concerns of my clients and business associates.
Get their free ebook
Cox has put together some great free resources for small business owners to celebrate small business week. Go grab their “SMB Essentials: 12 Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Small Business” eBook.
Whether you’ve already started your business or not, you should get this ebook. Great resource to make sure you’re doing things (or will do things) the right way. Believe me, this is information everyone should have. It will save you time, money and wasted effort.
Legal stuff: About this blog post
I am being paid to write this blog post. But as with anything I write, whether paid or not, if I suggest it, I believe in it. I am a regular reader of Cox Blue. They do really good stuff and I love what they’re doing for small business week.