FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinko's), an operating company of FedEx Corp. has released the results of its third annual small business Signs of the Times national survey. The study found that:
•Small business owners are optimistic -- almost three-quarters (72%) of small business owners say they will be the driving force behind the U.S. economic recovery in 2010. One-half (51%) of the small business owners polled say their businesses have already or will fully recover by the end of 2010.
• In 2009, 34% made cuts to their marketing and advertising; Three out of 10 (31%) say that decision had a negative or extremely negative impact on their business results.
•Examining the marketing and advertising tools available to small business owners, 87% of respondents report that printed marketing and advertising tools are somewhat to very effective at driving customers to businesses, and 61% believe traditional marketing and advertising methods are more effective than web-based counterparts at bringing in customers.
•44% of small business owners plan to grow business in 2010 by increasing communication with existing and potential customers via printed materials like newsletters and direct mailings. These entrepreneurs are also actively leveraging other traditional marketing/advertising tools such as brochures (43%), Yellow Pages listings (39%), flyers and signs/banners/posters (37% each) and newspaper advertisements (32%).
•Interestingly, 18-34 year-old small business owners are greater proponents of signs, banners and/or posters (51% for 18-34 vs. 36% for 55+) and flyers/brochures (57% for 18-34 vs. 47% for 55+) as cost effective marketing/advertising tools than older SB owners.
•Online cannot be ignored as a valuable tool -- 46% of small business owners have plans to grow their business in 2010 by improving their company's online presence, while another 36% plan to utilize social media/networking websites to build business.