Economic optimism splits along party lines; customer loyalty outweighs actual tangible assets
Oakland, Calif., May 9th, 2019 – Broadly.com, the leading mobile-first productivity and communications platform for small businesses, today revealed the results of a new survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on Broadly’s behalf. The research illuminates the perspectives of American small and micro business leaders on: the economy, Big Tech competition, consumer attitudes, and operations and innovation.
“America’s 30 million small businesses generate 44 percent of America’s GDP,” said Josh Melick, founder of Broadly. “They are a powerful part of our country’s economic engine and their perceptions on the factors that affect them are important to understand.”
He continued, “There were some surprising findings, including the mixed emotions small business leaders have around playing David to Amazon’s Goliath and that 60 percent of them rank customer loyalty as a greater asset than actual revenue and sales.”
A sampling of key findings from The State of the American Small Business 2019 includes:
- Small businesses are optimistic about their own economic prospects – but not quite bullish on the economy.
- 80 percent of small businesses leaders indicated their own businesses are in a strong place – and 90 percent expect their financial position to improve (41%) or stay the same (49%) in the next 12 months.
- But nearly a third (31%) expect a recession by 2020, with another 28 percent unsure.
- Optimism reflects party lines: 41 percent of Democratic or independent-leaning small businesses say a recession is likely but only 15 percent of GOP-leaning businesses agree.
- Micro-businesses of five to nine employees are more likely to predict a recession (38%) versus small businesses of 10-99 employees (22 percent).
Competition from Big Tech
- Small businesses see Amazon, Etsy, Thumbtack, eBay, Angie’s List, and other third-party platforms as frenemies.
- 58 percent see them as a way to reach more customers but 42 percent regard them as competition that weakens their prospects.
- Viewpoints divide along party lines. 64 percent of GOP-leaning businesses are bullish on these platforms, saying they lead to growth. But only 55 percent of Democrats and independents agree.
- Consumers and small businesses agree: in the Amazon age, customers just aren’t willing to wait for a response before moving on.
- 55 percent of small businesses think they have an hour or less to get back to consumers before they move on.
- A full third (33%) of consumers said they want responses from small businesses within an hour.
- Consumer loyalty is the number-one asset small businesses say they have (above financial measures).
- Six in ten small business leaders consider customer loyalty to be among the most valuable assets to their business. Only 46% say the same about revenue and sales, and 43% about strength of talent.
- Most small businesses are still using old-school methods.
- 45% track customers with pen and paper.
- Another 45% use only a basic database.
For a comprehensive look at the survey results, download the full report here: https://broadly.com/Small-Business-Report-2019
About the Small Business Survey
This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Broadly in January 2019 among 300 small (between 5 and 99 employees) business leaders (e.g., CEOs, presidents, partners and principals). This sample was weighed to represent the distribution of small businesses by size (i.e., number of employees) in the U.S.
About the Consumer Survey
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Broadly from February 27 – March 1, 2019 among 2,031 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Leslie Hobbs.
Broadly is a mobile-first productivity and communications platform enabling local businesses to engage with customers at every stage of their journey. Thousands of business owners, managers, and team members depend on Broadly every day to run their businesses from anywhere, in real time. Broadly is a venture-funded startup based in Oakland, CA. Visit broadly.com to learn more.