More than Half of Small Businesses Make New Year’s Resolutions to Better their Business

  • By creekmoremarketing
  • 31 Jul, 2015

WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New Year’s Resolutions are not just for setting personal weight loss goals. According to new survey data from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT), 53 percent of small businesses make New Year’s resolutions every year and 23 percent make them every few years. As for their success rate in keeping their business resolutions: one third (33 percent) say they are successful in keeping them, while 65 percent say they are sometimes successful in keeping them. More than half (53 percent) say keeping business-related resolutions is easier than keeping than personal New Year’s resolutions, while 27 percent say it is harder.

“I think most of us can relate to the treadmill gathering dust in the basement, or the long-abandoned pledge to stop procrastinating, so it’s easy to see why the majority of people surveyed think business-related New Year’s resolutions are easier to keep than personal ones,” said Christopher M. Litster, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Constant Contact. “Business resolutions can be easier to measure, as can the rewards if you stick to them, so I think staying focused on them can feel a bit easier.”

Getting Bigger and Better

What area do these business New Year’s resolutions focus on? Revenue growth and efficiency come in at one and two, respectively:

  • 26 percent Growing annual revenue
  • 18 percent Running my business more efficiently
  • 16 percent Getting more customers/clients
  • 10 percent Creating better planning
  • 10 percent Trying different marketing tactics, like mobile marketing
  • 8 percent Creating a better customer/client experience

Respondents shared some of their specific New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. Among them were:

“To expose my business to potential clients that don’t know what services I offer”
“Contact customers more often”
“To increase social media presence on all levels by 15%”
“Be better at teaching my staff how to provide exceptional customer service, while offering irresistible bargains”
“Run more efficiently. Need to keep costs under better control. Having a better plan/budget in place should help with expenses.”
“Put more resources into the most profitable projects”
“Increase the number of in-store and out-of-store educational seminars to better engage our customer base.”

Resolutions Resulting in Business Success

When asked what resolution they kept in the past that helped their business, replies included:

“Ask for more help”
“Build my team”
“Be more aggressive with social media”
“Blog more frequently”
“Find out what personally motivates my staff”
“Create a marketing plan”
“Drop what isn’t working and move forward”
Dreaming Big Translates to a Bigger Staff and Marketing Spend

When asked what New Year’s resolution they would make for their business if money were no object, the verbatim answers ranged from aggressive (“buy out the competition”), to wishful (“retire”), to downright practical (“get my financial reserves to six months of revenue”). Hiring people was a big theme. From sales staff, to bookkeepers, to administrative assistants, small businesses would like to be in a position to hire and train more staff.

Another running theme of answers to this question was having more money to spend on marketing efforts. Some responses included:

“Conduct a full-on marketing blitz”
“Consistently, efficiently and effectively write blogs, send newsletters, and use social media”
“Hire a marketing/PR firm”
“Hire someone to do all of my marketing and social media marketing for me – and I would spend a boatload of money on advertising of all sorts”
“A new, mobile-optimized, interactive, custom designed website built on a content management platform”
“Advertise regularly and effectively”
“Launch an extensive marketing campaign for the New Year”

About the survey

This Constant Contact-sponsored survey was administered in November of 2013 to 1,305 small business participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council – a research panel of US small businesses recruited from the Constant Contact customer base. This survey is part of an ongoing series about the state of small businesses and the ways they connect with, and grow, their audiences.

About Constant Contact®, Inc.

Constant Contact wrote the book on Engagement Marketing™ – the new marketing success formula that helps small organizations create and grow customer relationships in today’s socially connected world. More than half a million small businesses, nonprofits and associations worldwide use the company’s online marketing tools to generate new customers, repeat business, and referrals through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local deals, digital storefronts, and online surveys. Only Constant Contact offers the proven combination of affordable tools and free KnowHow®, including local seminars, personal coaching and award-winning product support. The company further supports small organizations through its extensive network of consultants/resellers, technology providers, franchises and national associations.

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By Robbi Meisel 21 Mar, 2017
WASHINGTON – Kentucky businesses and residents affected by severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, winds and hail from Feb. 28 through March 1, 2017 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Linda E. McMahon announced today.

McMahon made the loans available in response to a letter on March 16 from Michael E. Dossett, Authorized Representative of Gov. Matthew Bevin, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Estill County and the adjacent counties of Clark, Jackson, Lee, Madison and Powell in Kentucky.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Kentucky with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said McMahon. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

SBA’s customer service representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:
Estill County
Estill Development Alliance
177 Broadway Street
Irvine, Kentucky 40336

Opening: Thursday, March 23
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Days: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Closed: Sunday, March 26
Closing: Thursday, March 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3.15 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.875 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela .

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster . Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is May 19, 2017 . The deadline for economic injury applications is Dec. 20, 2017.

For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit their website at www.sba.gov/disaster .
By Robbi Meisel 27 Feb, 2017

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Feb. 14, 2017) – Kentucky Small Business Development Center is seeking nominations for the 2017 Pacesetter Awards. The recognition program was created to honor high performing, second-stage businesses that are changing Kentucky’s economic landscape. The deadline to submit nominations is March 15.

KSBDC encourages small businesses that meet the following minimum qualifications to apply:

         ·  Privately held

         · In business for three or more years

         · Employ six or more full-time employees, including the owner

         ·  Annual sales meet or exceed $500,000

         · Located and headquartered in Kentucky

         ·Demonstrate the intent and capacity to grow evidenced by the judging criteria.

Pacesetters will be selected based on two or more of the following criteria:

         · Growth in the number of employees

         ·Increase in sales and/or unit volume

         · Innovativeness of the product or service

         ·Response to adversity

         ·Employee engagement and commitment

         ·Contributions by the nominee to aid community-oriented projects

Pacesetters will be recognized at the Kentucky Celebrates Small Business event held at the Capitol rotunda in Frankfort during the first week of May. Each honoree will receive an award inscribed with the business’s name and a promotional video for their own use that highlights the business. In addition, KSBDC will send a customized press release announcing the award to local media and trade associations. Honorees are given the rights to use the Kentucky Pacesetter logo and event photographs in promoting their business.

Anyone may submit nominations, including third parties associated with an eligible second-stage business. A business may self-nominate by completing the required form. Winners will be notified by March 27. Full nomination requirements and the application are online at https://www.ksbdc.org/kentucky-pacesetters1 .

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 12 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. More information on KSBDC services can be found on their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .

 

Writer: Roberta Meisel, 859-257-0104

 

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.

 

 

 

By Robbi Meisel 20 Feb, 2017
MURRAY, Ky., (Feb. 2017) — Chris Wooldridge, Kentucky Small Business Development Center district director for the Murray State University SBDC and Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, has joined the board of directors of the Foundation for Kentucky Industry.

FKI is a statewide, not-for-profit, with the goal of strengthening manufacturing in Kentucky, a very important economic driver in the commonwealth. FKI’s Board of Directors is comprised of manufacturing, education, economic development and public policy leaders.
Project and program partners currently include LIFT (Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow), JPMorgan Chase, KY FAME (Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education), business and public partners.

“We are pleased to announce Chris Wooldridge, District Director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center at the Murray State University Bauernfeind College of Business, will be joining the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Kentucky Industry. Mr. Wooldridge’s experience and expertise regarding business and economic development will be a great asset to the Foundation’s work of maximizing career opportunities for both Kentuckians and industry in 21st century manufacturing,” according to Mary C. Breeding, President and CEO, Foundation for Kentucky Industry (FKI).

About Murray State University SBDC: Murray State University hosts the West Kentucky Region of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center program.  KSBDC is a network of 12 offices located throughout the state that helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. The KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .
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