Small Businesses Resilient Despite Recession
Of the 500 owners polled in the nationwide survey conducted by Citibank Small Business, 24% said they had gained market share and 32% said access to talent improved.
“The results of this survey clearly demonstrate the resiliency of small business owners and their dedication to their goals even in less than ideal times,” said Maria Veltre, executive vice president of Citi’s small business segment. “Their ability to adapt and change in the face of the current economic conditions is what makes them vital to our economic recovery.
Employees seem to be more satisfied now too, according to the findings. Among companies with 20 to 99 employees, 36% reported an improved commitment and work ethic in employees. Additionally, 31% of owners reported that employee retention had improved as did 20% of companies in the manufacturing and construction industries. Such improvements will mean significant savings in recruitment and training expenses. But if hiring is a necessity many owners aren’t complaining since 32% say the availability of high quality talent for hire has improved.
However, the storm hasn’t passed just yet. About half of small businesses are cutting back on payroll services and employee recruiting services.
Many owners are making temporary adjustments to neutralize the effect of the economy on their business. Sixty percent say they are spending less on advertising, 42% say they’re making greater use of their company’s Website to generate business leads and sales, and nearly four in 10 are asking current customers for more business and for referrals.
—Marcia Wade Talbert