Small-Business Owners Are Optimistic About Revenues - eMarketer

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Small-Business Owners Are Optimistic About Revenues

New marketing tactics are tapped to help

October 18, 2016

Nearly six in 10 small-business owners surveyed in the US in July said they expect to grow their revenues in the next year, and they’ll be looking to new marketing tactics to help. Whether they succeed is another question.

Change in Gross Sales/Revenues in the Past vs. Next 12 Months According to US Small-Business Owners, Dec 2014-July 2016 (% of respondents)

According to the National Small Business Associaton (NSBA), most small-business owners in the US are confident about their revenue prospects. But they also have a history of being more optimistic about future sales than is necessarily warranted.

In July 216, 57% of small-business owners surveyed said they thought sales would be up in the next year. The exact same share had said the same thing a year earlier, in July 2015. But when respondents were asked in July 2016 about sales over the past 12 months, just 37% said they actually went up. Nearly as many—32%—said sales had been down over the past year. That was twice as many as had expected a decline in sales back in July 2015.

The same pattern held among those asked in December 2014 whether sales would go up or down: 60% said they would go up, but a year later, in December 2015, just 45% reported increases in sales over the past year. Meanwhile, 31% said sales had gone down, though just 15% had expected that to happen.

Notably, small-business owners aren’t getting any less optimistic despite previous predictions failing to come true.

According to the NSBA polling, small businesses are most likely to be looking toward new advertising and marketing strategies to help boost revenues. Almost half (45%) of respondents said that was among their top three growth strategies.

Key Functions of the Modern Marketing Stack According to US SMB Marketers, April 2016 (% of respondents)

To that end, many are looking to marketing technology, especially to flexible marketing stacks.

According to April 2016 research from Campaign Monitor and Market Cube, small- and medium-sized business (SMB) marketers in the US are most likely to say email marketing is a key function of the tech stack, followed by social media marketing.

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