Survey: Small businesses more confident about long-term success

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Small businesses have a positive long-term outlook and an eye on growth and investment, according to the results of the fourth annual FedEx Office Signs of the Times national small business survey released by FedEx Office. The survey found that optimism is on the rise, with 63 percent of owners declaring confidence in their businesses’ long-term success. By comparison, slightly more than half (54 percent) of respondents in 2010 were confident in the long-term success of their business.

With the rising confidence level, decision makers are considering greater investments in their business to support 2011 growth plans, including expanding product and service offerings (44 percent) and hiring additional full-time and part-time staff (26 percent). Marketing and advertising efforts also continue to be a major consideration for budget increases, with more small business owners considering investment in these areas than last year – 55 percent vs. 42 percent.

“Small businesses are a vital economic driver, and their outlook for 2011 is an indication that the health of this business segment is getting stronger,” says Randy Scarborough, vice president of marketing for FedEx Office. “We are encouraged by the commitment that we’re seeing among small business owners to assertively and strategically invest in their company’s offerings and image in order to grow.”

The 2011 survey also indicated that nearly one quarter (23 percent) of owners feel that their marketing materials do not reflect the quality of their products and services. Moreover, nearly half of respondents believe they do not spend the right amount on marketing and advertising materials, with 24 percent saying they spend too little because of budget cuts and 23 percent indicating they spend too much but cannot find a better deal due to lack of time or knowledge.