A recently released survey of 1,000 small business owners by the University of Maryland and Network Solutions found that small businesses are succeeding in spite of the troubled economy.
- 69% of small businesses made a profit in 2008.
- 7% of small businesses report that they broke even.
- The majority (69%) of those who showed a profit in 2008 said it was equal to or better than the previous year.
- 70% of small businesses expect their firms to still be operating in five years as opposed to being closed, sold or transferred, and of these, 66% expect to be bigger in size.
The full report, called the Small Business Success Index, looks at small business performance in six major areas:
- Capital Access, including availability of working capital, capital for long term
investments, and expert financial advice.
- Marketing and Innovation, such as identifying new prospects, showing effective
corporate positioning, converting leads, finding ways to efficiently advertise, and the ability to come up with new ideas.
- Workforce, including the ability of small businesses to attract, retain, develop, motivate and deploy employees efficiently, as well as encourage creativity from them.
- Customer Service, which is the ability of small businesses to service their customers, show they care about them and grow their relationships.
- Computer Technology, which includes making technology work effectively and
efficiently in the organization.
- Compliance, which is the ability of the small business to understand and comply with laws and regulations, including ensuring data security.
Unsurprisingly, the report indicates that U.S. small businesses are having the most difficulty with capital access (D+) and doing best at customer service (A-). What I found surprising was the poor scores in marketing & innovation (C-) and use of computer technology (C), but relatively high score (B+) in compliance.