We’ve just released the latest Local Pulse Report™, highlighting key small and medium sized small business trends. Below are some highlights from our press release:
The newest study reveals that 63 percent of businesses expect their sales to increase this year. When asked what were the biggest hindrances to growth over the past 12 months, current economic conditions (35 percent), lack of funding (28 percent), taxes and government regulations (22 percent) and paying for healthcare costs (15 percent) were the top reasons.
With the recent policy changes, 38 percent of SMBs believe the economic conditions will improve over the next 12 months, 39 percent will hire new employees, 28 percent plan to increase capital expenditures for equipment and 18 percent think it will be easier to obtain financing needed to operate their business.
“Optimism is running high for many small businesses,” said Jason Peaslee, Managing Partner of Thrive Analytics. “They view recent policy changes as a positive thing. They feel the handcuffs are coming off and they plan to invest more into their businesses.”
Marketing Budgets & Technology Adoption Will Get a Boost
Marketing budgets will get a boost with 45 percent of SMBs planning to increase their budgets this year. Top growth areas include mobile advertising (56 percent), SEO (43 percent), SEM (41 percent), online video (40 percent) and social media (40 percent). Nearly half of SMBs (46 percent) stated they were increasing investments in these areas because they view them as more strategic sources of leads, followed by the need to do it to stay competitive (34 percent).
“Marketing and technology are areas that will see growth. SMBs will be spending more on digital solutions and they will be evaluating technology that can help their business become more efficient,” added Peaslee.
In addition, 25 percent of SMBs will be investing more in software / technology services. Top areas include customer relationship management tools (21 percent), lead generations services (20 percent), reputation monitoring tools (17 percent), and online scheduling tools (17 percent).
Thrive Analytics’ 2018 Local Pulse Report™ is a comprehensive study covering SMB outlooks, marketing budgets, technology adoption, challenges & opportunities for marketing service providers, satisfaction levels with products and more.
Other critical findings from the 2018 Local Pulse Report™ include:
• 60 percent of business owners don’t know what marketing services they should buy after purchasing an initial service.
• 24 percent of businesses feel mobile technology will have the biggest impact on their business over the next 2-3 years.
• 48 percent of businesses have abandoned a do it yourself service because it was too complicated.
Local Pulse Report™ Methodology
The full study, is available to Thrive Analytics research subscribers. Data highlighted in this release was from Thrive Analytics’ Local Pulse survey conducted on small businesses and fielded in December 2017 through Thrive Analytics’ partner panel network. 1,002 small businesses in the United States responded to the survey.