How Government Involvement is Perceived by Small Businesses
1 in 10 small businesses don't want the government involved at all.
Larger companies feel better about government's current involvement, 37% of larger businesses with more than 101 employees say government does enough.
14% of leaders of smaller businesses (5-10 employees) are the most likely to want no government involvement.
50% | No, government doesn't do enough
24% | Yes, government does enough
17% | Undecided
10% | I don't want the government involved
Half of all small business say the government is not doing enough to support them.
How the 2016 Presidential Election Will Impact Business
A Republican Win
39% expect positive impact
22% expect negative impact
39% expect no impact
A Democrat Win
34% expect positive impact
30% expect negative impact
36% expect no impact
Small business owners say their business will do better if a Republican wins the presidency in 2016.
Growth and Economy
The Top Challenges Facing U.S. Small Businesses in 2016
Hiring New Employees (50%)
Increasing Profit (45%)
Employee Healthcare (43%)
Growing Revenue (43%)
Cash Flow (36%)
| Increasing profit (54%)|| Hiring new employees (49%)|| Hiring new employees (54%)|| Employee healthcare (50%)|
| Hiring new employees (47%)|| Growing revenue (46%)|| Employee healthcare (46%)|| Hiring new employees (50%)|
| Employee healthcare (38%)|| Increasing profit (45%)|| Growing revenue (42%)|| Increasing profit (43%)|
| Growing revenue (38%)|| Employee healthcare (42%)|| Increasing profit (40%)|| Growing revenue (42%)|
| Cash flow (36%)|| Cash flow (39%)|| Cash flow (34%)|| Cash flow (30%)|
Small business owners say hiring new employees and employee healthcare will be a bigger challenge for them in 2016 than they were in 2015.
Confidence in the Economy Versus 12 Months Ago
Companies with 5-50 employees are more pessimistic about the economy.
Revenue Expectations for 2016
37% of small businesses expect more than 5% increase in revenue; only 38% expected that in 2015.
Most small businesses (32%) expect a modest revenue growth of 1-4%.
Roughly 7% of all businesses, regardless of size, expect declining revenues.
71% | Expect revenue growth
17% | Expect flat revenue
7% | Expect decline
71% of small businesses expect an increase in revenue in 2016.
Strategies to Improve Revenue Growth
Improve existing customer experience & retention
Invest in new customer acquisition activities & methods
Invest in training or tools to improve employee productivity
Expand into new markets
Launch new products / services
Open new stores / sites / facilities
Small businesses say improving existing customer experience and retention is their top strategy for revenue growth.
Employee and Staffing Plans
50% of all small business plan to hire employees. (Up 12% from 2015)
Revenue Invested in Marketing
62% of small businesses invest 4% or more of their revenue in marketing, while roughly 1 in 10 does not invest.
The Top 10 Marketing Tools Used by Small Businesses
Internet Advertising (35%)
TV, Radio, and/or Print Ads (34%)
Tradeshows and/or Conferences (23%)
Small businesses use a mix of online (56%) and traditional marketing tools (44%).
Word of Mouth is the top marketing tool (59%) used by businesses with 5-10 employees.
Internet advertising increases once businesses reach 51 or more employees. 25% of larger small businesses use these ads.
How Small Businesses Use Their Websites
Of small business websites allow visitors to purchase goods or services
Of small business websites allow visitors to apply for jobs
Of small business websites allow visitors to reach sales or customer service
Of small business websites have the company location, phone number and email addresses
Of small business websites contain information about the company’s goods and services
Fast Facts About Small Business Digital Marketing
Use of Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram have increased.
45% of small businesses use social media to sell to potential customers.
38% of small businesses use social media to gain likes and fans.
54% of small businesses outsource graphic design and website design.
34% of small businesses use social media to solicit and respond to customers.
Most small businesses (37%) use designated business social media accounts to reach their publics.
Facebook remains the most used social media platform, but its use has decreased since 2015.
12% of small businesses outsource their marketing, public relations and advertising.
Only 80% of small businesses use social media and many continue to underutilize SEO, blogging, and video.
How Businesses Manage Inventory and Assets
What Small Business Use for Inventory
1% | Other
7% | Don't track inventory
15% | Manual processes (pen & paper)
16% | Inventory software or system
17% | Inventory in accounting software (Quickbooks)
19% | Don't have inventory
24% | Spreadsheet program (Excel)
48% of small businesses do not track their inventory or use a manual process.
What Small Business Use for Assets
1% | Other
6% | Not sure
9% | Don't track assets
15% | Manual processes (pen & paper)
17% | Asset software or system
23% | Tracking in accounting software (Quickbooks)
30% | Spreadsheet program (Excel)
55% of small businesses do not track assets or use a manual process.
44% of small businesses plan to increase IT spending in 2016.
The top IT changes businesses implemented in 2015 are updating network security, upgrading networks and replacing computer hardware.
62% of larger small businesses (101-499 employees) use or plan to use Web-based or subscription-based software; only 36% of smaller businesses (5-10 employees) do.
Just 43% of small businesses prefer to purchase software directly from the manufacturer; most prefer to purchase it through online or brick and mortar retailers.
By the Numbers
Who Took the Survey
1,102 Surveyed | All Own or Manage a Small Business | All Headquarterd in the U.S.
For the second year, Wasp Barcode Technologies conducted a survey to identify how small business owners felt about their growth, confidence in the economy, employment, technology use, marketing tactics, and government impact.
The State of Small Business Report research is based on a random online sample of 1,102 U.S. small business owners/managers with companies with five to 499 employees. The anonymous survey was conducted via the Internet by Survey Monkey from December 9-19, 2015. The survey has a margin of error of +-3 at the 95% level of confidence. Sikora Associates provided statistical analysis.
Respondent Breakdown by Product or Service Company
Company Size by Full-Time Employees
Responce Count (Percent)
|1-4 full-time employees||0 (0.0%)|
|5-10 full-time employees||229 (20.8%)|
|11-50 full-time employees||467 (42.4%)|
|51-100 full-time employees||237 (21.5%)|
|101-200 full-time employees||96 (8.7%)|
|201-499 full-time employees||73 (6.6%)|
Respondent Breakdown by Industry
Responce Count (Percent)
|Energy (Oil, gas, electricity)||9 (0.8%)|
|Information Technology||84 (7.6%)|
|Professional Services (Accounting, legal, consulting, etc.)||143 (13.0%)|
|Repair/Installation Services||26 (2.4%)|
|Warehousing, Logistics, Distribution||39 (3.5%)|