Survey: Small Business Conditions Markedly Improved
A new business economy poll of small business owners in North America shows a near doubling among those who report improved business conditions since 2010.
The poll, by Citibank®, found that over 42% of small company owners believe that business conditions are “positive.” That represents a marked improvement since August 2010, when nearly twenty-four percent of small business owners reported an overall positive business economy.
Thirty-three percent of the survey participants indicated that their own business has improved over the past 12 months — up from 25% in December. Another 33% expect their business will grow by more than 10% this year.
“Small business owners risk everything to pursue their dreams and are willing to do what it takes to make it,” said Citi Small Business managing director Maria Veltre in a statement. “Their personal sacrifices, passion and ability to adapt have positioned them to capitalize on improving business conditions.”
53% of the particpants said they have reinvented their business “to stay afloat and competitive.” This approach is underscored in the current competitive environment, which 38% of those surveyed describe as “extremely intense.”
From the Citibank release –
“Small business owners are especially adept at reinvention – whether because of obstacles or new visions for growth,” Veltre said. “Change is never easy, but neither is starting and running a business. We see our small business clients embracing change and reinventing themselves to secure a rewarding future.”
As part of the reinvention process, small business owners say they focused on overhauling the products or services they offered (47%). This was followed by adjusting their infrastructure, such as technology or staffing (24%) and beefing up their sales and marketing (18%). A small amount (7%) said they reduced pricing and took less profit. Only 3% relocated.
If small business owners aren’t reinventing their business, they stay sharp and evolve to keep up with the competition. The following steps were cited as ways they kept business thriving:
• 88% kept updated and knowledgeable about their field
• 70% increased face time with customers
• 67% updated/upgraded computer systems
• 52% increased their use of the internet and social media
• 51% built a network of suppliers and partner companies