According to the US Small Business Administration, small biz makes up for 99.7 percent of employer firms, and the practice of non-employer companies (those run by a single person) accounts for nearly 23 million US businesses. The majority of these are micro businesses that generate less than $100,000 annually.
Why do people start their own business? Constant Contact studies show than 30% of small business owners say the best part of being in charge of their own destiny is the freedom to try new things. They even embrace making and learning from mistakes.
Of the 800 business owners surveyed, 43% say the biggest challenge is having to learn and play several roles. Sole proprietors tend to operate many things internally – marketing, customer support, social media…
Check out this infographic from Direct Marketing News. You may be surprised that just 66% said finding new customers is a top priority, but that’s supported by the need to retain existing customers and finding the time to get everything done.
While it’s great to see the “one-man band’s” focus is on service and support, it’s concerning that only 53% of 350 business owners surveyed by research company Clutch use social media, and that 25% of them say they have no plans to hit even popular networks in the near future. Also scary? Only 45% rely on search engine optimization – a big mistake, especially in mobile commerce – and a scant 25% utilize online advertising (this includes Google AdWords and remarketing).
I’d love to know what group you or your company falls into. Do you recognize the need for investment in SEO, social media and advertising, even if just to offer alternate and immediate channels for customer support? Or are you finding that juggling these tasks is just too time consuming and/or expensive? Let’s talk about it!