In most small businesses it is really important to obtain some industry benchmarks and
know what the rest of the market thinks about the future.Small Business Twitter

Our friends over at Hubspot, recently posted some really interesting research, that we would like to share with you.

Difficulty

1) 59% of small business owners say it’s harder to run a business today than five years ago. Tweet This

2) Of the 59% of small business owners who say it’s harder to run a business today, 55% said the economy has hit their business hard. Tweet This

3) Of the 59% of small business owners who say it’s harder to run a business today, 49% said it’s harder to keep pace with technology. Tweet This

4) Of the 59% of small business owners who say it’s harder to run a business today, 40% said there’s more direct competition. Tweet This

5) Only 12% of small business owners said it’s easier to run a business today than it was five years ago. Tweet This

6) Of the 12% of small business owners who say it’s easier to run a business today, 89% say online marketing tools make it easier and less expensive to market their business. Tweet This

Challenges

7) 84% of small business owners said using, or using more, online marketing tools is a big challenge today vs. five years ago. Tweet This

8) 59% of small business owners said general economic uncertainty is a big challenge today compared to five years ago. Tweet This

9) 27% of small business owners said using, or using more, automated business solutions (payroll, inventory, etc.) is a big challenge today compared to five years ago. Tweet This

Marketing Tools

10) 98% of small business owners use email marketing today, compared to 64% five years ago. Tweet This

11) 87% of small business owners use social media marketing today, compared to 10% five years ago. Tweet This

12) 40% of small business owners ranked word-of-mouth as their most powerful marketing tool today, compared to 32% five years ago. Tweet This

Top Concerns 

13) 75% of small business owners said their top concern today is finding new customers, compared to 78% five years ago. Tweet This

14) 65% of small business owners said their top concern today is having enough time to do everything needed to run their business, compared to 61% five years ago. Tweet This

15) 58% of small business owners said their top concern today is retaining existing customers, compared to 49% five years ago. Tweet This

Customer Data

16) 51% of small business owners said being locally owned and operated is a major reason why customers support their business today, up from the 42% five years ago. Tweet This

17) 55% of small businesses said the volume of customers has increased over the last five years. Tweet This

18) 49% of small business owners said customers spend more money at their business now than five years ago. Tweet This

19) 63% of small business owners said customers have higher expectations today than five years ago. Tweet This

20) Small business owners said customers expect more value (71%) and more discounts (52%) today than five years ago, making it harder to turn a profit today. Tweet This

21) Small business owners were fairly evenly split about whether it’s easier (30%) or harder (35%) to find new customers today. Tweet This

22) Of small businesses who think it’s easier to find new customers today, 53% credit more affordable online marketing tools. Tweet This

23) Of small business owners who think it’s harder to find new customers today, 49% say customers are paying less attention to marketing. Tweet This

Future Expectations 

24) 54% of small business owners said they haven’t achieved the growth they hoped for five years ago. Tweet This

25) 58% of small business owners said they see their business thriving five years from now, with more customers and/or more employees. Tweet This

26) 26% of small business owners said they see their business holding steady five years from now. Tweet This

27) Only 8% of small business owners said they see their business possibly closed five years from now. Tweet This

28) 72% of small business owners expect 2013 revenue to outperform 2012 revenues. Tweet This

 

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