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Survey Reveals U.S. Small Businesses Have Strong Outlook for 2006

    Online News published in DMReview.com
December 30, 2005

U.S. small businesses forecast a successful year ahead with strong growth and increased technology and marketing budgets, according to the Corel/Constant Contact 2006 Small Business Outlook, a recent online survey of nearly 600 small business owners with employees of 50 or fewer. Reporting an upswing in business in 2005, more than 50 percent of small business owners expect even stronger growth in 2006. The majority of small businesses surveyed maintain this positive outlook, despite their concerns about the overall economy and the effects of rising energy costs on their businesses.

Small business owners rated acquiring more customers (44 percent) and increasing sales to existing customers (20 percent) as their top business objectives for driving growth in 2006.

Small businesses owners also expect to increase spending on both technology and marketing activities in 2006 as compared to 2005. In fact, 61 percent of survey respondents said that they plan to spend more money on marketing, while 51 percent expect increased technology expenditures in 2006. Among technology categories, small business owners view communications tools (40 percent) as having the greatest impact on growing their businesses, followed by marketing software and services, computer hardware and business productivity software. Public relations, email marketing and web marketing were reported as the most widely used marketing practices for increasing business.

Additionally, respondents rated value and ease-of-use as the two most important attributes when making a software or services purchase for marketing materials creation, ahead of product features and brand name. Nearly half said that more professional looking marketing collateral would help increase revenue.
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