Small business owners began the year in a spirit of optimism, despite the uncertainty and challenges facing them.
A recent study of UK entrepreneurs revealed the main goals for the upcoming year and some methods they’ll use to achieve them.
Nearly nine in ten (86 per cent) told researchers they are confident they will achieve their main goal in 2020.
The study involved 500 small business owners and identified those objectives as, predictably, substantially increasing revenue and growth and reaching new customers. Over one in five are also focused on generating repeat customers.
And although almost one in ten said the main reason they started their business was to earn more money – a third are yet to break even and one in five are aiming to simply “survive the next year”.
The research was commissioned by Vistaprint – a leading online provider of marketing products and services to small businesses. While most were seen as likely to say they feel confident, optimistic and prepared, of those who admitted that the year may be a struggle, more than half predicted political changes as havibg a negative effect on their business.
A further sixth were anxious about competitor companies opening nearby.
Simon Braier, Customer Strategy and Insights Director said: “While political changes and economic barriers are very real challenges facing Britain’s small businesses, our research shows that these factors haven’t dampened the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit.
“It’s encouraging to see small business owners’ confidence and optimism going into 2020.
“The better they do, the more chance they have of generating jobs for local people, giving an economic boost to their community and continuing to provide significant value to customers.”
Despite these challenges, seven in ten small business owners admitted they don’t have a marketing plan in place for 2020, with nearly half (45 per cent) saying ‘everything is going fine as it is’. A quarter (24 per cent) would rather just ‘see what happens’.
Almost half – 48 per cent – believe the most important advertising channel in the upcoming 12 months will simply be word of mouth, while a quarter will rely on social media.
Vistaprint’s UK Market Lead Charlotte Holmes-Darby said: “Even if business is going well, in increasingly competitive markets small business owners cannot afford to rest on their laurels.
“Word-of-mouth marketing is and will likely continue to be one of the most effective forms of marketing for small businesses. But business owners should seize the opportunity to spread the word further by leveraging other offline and online channels and tactics to reach customers.”
It also emerged that on reflection, nine in ten (91 percent) business owners are pleased they took the plunge and started their own business.
For more than a third (38 percent) being their own boss was the main motivation for starting a company. This was followed by flexibility – with 14 percent wanting to decide their own hours – and job satisfaction according to one in ten.