As 2011 begins, small business owners and entrepreneurs have been expressing their hopes and concerns for the new year. The results of several widely distributed surveys show an optimistic leaning and most sources indicate that the economic heaviness of the past few years is beginning to lift. Nevertheless, many entrepreneurs and small business owners, seem to be tempering their optimism with a serving of caution.
Here are some of the more notable highlights:
- View on the Economy According to a recent survey, Small to Midsized Business Business Plans for 2011 by Growbiz Media and online survey company Zoomerang, 72 percent of small business owners believe the economy will either improve or stay the same over the next 12 months.
- View on Sales In the above Zoomerang study, 85 percent of small business owners are anticipating that sales will either increase or remain constant in 2011.
- Marketing Expenditures In an earlier Zoomerang study, Small to Midsize Business Marketing Practices Survey conducted in November of 2010, approximately 15 percent of respondents plan on expanding their marketing budgets, with website development, direct mail, email marketing, and social media receiving most of the attention.
- Plans to Hire Several surveys reported modest plans to hire. In the Zoomerang Business Plans study, 25 percent of small business owners indicated that they plan on hiring more workers in the new year, whereas in Inuit’s Small Business Outlook 2011 survey, a mere 6 percent reported that they want to expand their workforces.
- Plans to Expand Business In October 2010, email marketing company ConstantContact conducted its Fall Small Business Attitudinal Survey and reported that almost 75 percent of respondents said they expect their businesses to grow in the upcoming year. These results are also reflected in Inuit’s Small Business Outlook 2011 survey, where 60 percent of respondents said they expect their businesses to grow in the new year- a 6% increase from December 2008.