What do Small Businesses think?

Alibaba.com recently surveyed 600 small businesses asking them an array of questions.  I thought I’d share some of the results here.  
46% of the small businesses surveyed expect to see revenue growth in 2013.

The top 5 ways small businesses plan to expand their business in 2013:
1.      To create a new website (49%)
2.      To import new products (30%)
3.      To export to additional countries (18%)
4.      To build a mobile website (14%)
5.      To build a new location (10%)

Top 5 most effective marketing tactics in 2012:
1.      Word of mouth (54%)
2.      Social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) (37%)
3.      Online advertising (37%)
4.      Email marketing (31%)
5.      Coupons (13%)

17% of the small businesses have a mobile-ready website; 60% of them don’t; 14% don’t have the time/expertise to build a mobile site; and 9% think it is too expensive to build and maintain a mobile site.

80% of small businesses surveyed are online-only businesses
·         92% of small businesses surveyed have between 1-5 employees.
·         82% of small businesses surveyed had 2012 revenues of $50,000 or under.
·         85% of small businesses surveyed are based in the U.S.

I found the most interesting thing to be that only 17% of small businesses have a mobile ready website.  How is that possible?  Mobile retail is growing and it’s growing fast.  According to Mobile Commerce Daily mobile payments have nearly doubled in the last year and 41% of mobile shoppers used mobile coupons at grocery stores, 41% at department stores, 39% at clothing stores according to Neilsen.

This is staggering and telling as to where retail is going in the next few years.  If you run a web retailer and you’re not offering mobile sales you might want to rethink your strategy.  Obviously there are different forms of retail, if you’re selling tractors for farming online that’s different than kids toys but it’s still needs to be considered.

By the way the single most important tasks for 2013 according to these small businesses is   Cost reductions, streamlining.  If I may make 1 single suggestion to save money and streamline your voice communication… Get Phone.com and make your life 100% easier (non scientifically guessing that is).  Plus you can add a Click to Call button to your site to call directly from the web.

What did your company do to market in 2012 and what are your plans for 2013?  Talk to us on Facebook and Twitter.