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Small Businesses are Bouncing Back with Confidence

May 16, 2011

There seems to be a common trait among small business owners: they have a vision of success and are confident their hard work and determination will lead them there. It’s this optimism we wanted to celebrate today, in honor of Small Business Week. It’s also a trait that was abundantly obvious in the fourth annual FedEx Office Signs of the Times small business survey, where 63 percent of small business owners reported confidence in the long-term success of their business – up from 54 percent from last year.
With this confidence comes plans to grow business in 2011 through smart, strategic investments. The small business owners we surveyed are considering spending increases in a number of areas – but no area more than marketing and advertising, where 55% of respondents are considering a bigger budget.
As a marketing professional at FedEx, I’m encouraged to see small businesses use a wide range of marketing tools and channels to reach customers and build business. This year:

·      53% of small businesses plan to increase communication with existing and potential customers via newsletters, direct mail and other printed marketing materials
·      52% plan to create or improve their company’s online presence
·      45% plan to utilize social networking websites to grow business

But small businesses should keep one thing in mind when it comes to marketing materials: the overwhelming majority of small business owners (91 percent) believe that the quality of a company’s marketing and advertising materials is indicative of the quality of its products and services. And yet, 23 percent of those surveyed say their own materials do not accurately reflect the quality of their offerings. This could be a major pitfall for small businesses and reinforces the importance of ensuring marketing materials are thoughtfully designed and professionally produced.

At FedEx Office, we offer access to hundreds of design templates to help small businesses make their marketing materials look polished. We produce presentations, brochures, flyers, banners and more on state-of-the-art equipment and we have a wealth of options online to help companies turn their marketing vision into reality. We recently launched a new feature for ordering custom signs, banners and posters via the FedEx Office® Print Online tool. Small business owners can take comfort in knowing that once a file is uploaded, they’ll still receive personal consultation from a FedEx Office team member who will call to confirm the order, answer any questions, and provide the estimated completion time and pricing information.

Based on this year’s survey results, the future is looking brighter. As entrepreneurs around the country chart out their next steps, I’m optimistic that their unique brand of confidence will help lead to long-term success.

To view detailed results from this year’s small business survey, and all those dating back to 2008, visit news.fedex.com and search for “Signs of the Times.” To learn about the range of professional marketing solutions available to businesses of all sizes at FedEx Office, visit http://www.fedex.com/us/office/marketing/.


    David Kang says:

    Randy – good article. My organization does a lot of SMB research (and provides a number of services) – and we’ve seem similar trends. It will be interesting to see if the social marketing efforts pan out – I’ve already heard some mixed signals on effectiveness as articulated by SMBs, but it could also be that they need proper direction on execution.

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