Running any kind of business isn’t what you’d call easy – getting by as a small business owner in the modern landscape however often feels borderline impossible. Enormous competition, constantly shifting goalposts and a thousand and one SEO/web marketing pitfalls just waiting to catch you out.
You’d therefore be forgiven for thinking that pretty much everything was simply out to ‘get you’, but at the same time, the fact is that living in an age of heavy data and statistics makes gunning for success significantly easier. Put simply, to read into the most important and revealing statistics/data regarding small business success is to essentially arm yourself with a proven blueprint for success. Of course, the numbers are changing all the time so it’s something of a constant effort, but is nonetheless an effort guaranteed to pay off.
So as far as the end of 2015 is concerned, here’s a quick round up of eight essential insights small business owners across the board simply cannot afford to ignore:
1 – Right now, approximately two-thirds (66%) of all small business owners are planning to accelerate digital marketing spending in the near future (AT&T Small Business Technology Poll )
Long story short, now is most certainly not the time to cut back on digital marketing spending or to keep things at current pace. If you don’t strive to outpace the competition, it’s game over.
2 – When looking to work with small and local businesses, almost three-quarters (72%) of consumers trust web-based feedback as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family members (Search Engine Land)
For small businesses in particular, consumers seem to have extraordinary trust for web-based feedback, reviews and testimonials.
3 – According to four in every five small business owners (82%), the single most important driver of new traffic is word of mouth and personal referrals (Constant Contact)
When it comes to choosing appropriate marketing strategies, successful small business owners are largely dependent on positive word of mouth.
4 – When polled, almost 70% of all consumers stated that they’d be much more inclined to shop/work with a small business if the business in question had a strong social media presence.
A recent study highlighted the fact that the overwhelming majority of small businesses are still spending not so much as a penny on social media marketing – hence the relevance of this particular statistic.
5 – Unbelievably, approximately half of all small and local businesses are still not listing their phone numbers on their websites (BIA Kelsey)
Failing to list all contact details in full and clearly is considered to be an absolute cardinal sin, the likes of which can cripple both consumer trust and conversion rates.
6 – Research suggests that basic usability requirements are not being met by 49% of small web business owners, which results in half of all sales being lost simply because the appropriate content cannot be found by customers (Forrester)
It’s really far from a secret these days that overall site usability is one of the most important things of all when it comes to winning over customers and building a reputation. If therefore insufficient effort is being invested in site usability and general presentation, the consequences can be disastrous.
7 – The overwhelming majority of small business websites are still not optimised in such a way as to allow them to be accurately rendered and presented on Smartphones and tablet PCs (BIA Kelsey, Borrell)
The phrase ‘flogging a dead horse’ comes to mind, but it appears that so many small business owners still have no idea/are ignoring the fact that mobile really is the new web standard.
8 – While search engines remain the primary tools of choice for most consumers, millions of local searches are carried out every day via apps and directories.
Google and Co. will undoubtedly continue to rule the roost on a global basis pretty much indefinitely. Nevertheless, incalculable sums of cash are spent each day by consumers who didn’t even go near a standard search engine – hence the importance of considering apps and directories.
9 – When consumers search for local brands or businesses using Smartphones and tablet PCs, almost 90% actually visit, contact or do business with them within 24 hours (Google Mobile Movement Study)
The value of appealing to the mobile market is almost impossible to put into words, though this particular statistic highlights just how profitable doing so can be.
10 – Contrary to popular belief, use of e-mail marketing strategies by small businesses is actually on the rise on a global basis. (AT&T Small Business Technology Poll)
Last but not least, so may have fallen into the trap of assuming that e-mail marketing is old-hap and of no real value these days – nothing could be further from the truth. There’s a very clear and very simple reason why successful businesses all over the world are continually ramping up e-mail marketing efforts and spending – it’s a uniquely powerful and potential-filled approach.