Some 90% of small businesses intend to hire one to two people in 2018, a new survey shows.
Implementing a new marketing strategy among plans for next year
Simultaneously, 37.6% of small business owners are contemplating offering a new product or service, and 35.7% aim to apply a new marketing strategy. About 19% plan to partner with another small business.
The findings are based on a survey released by Microsoft Store and done by SurveyMonkey. Some 1,300 U.S. small-business owners with one and 200 employees were surveyed. The analysis pinpoints trends and gauges what challenges and opportunities the owners see in the oncoming year.
About half of the owners identified their biggest challenge as staying ahead of rapid changes in technology in 2018. Further, 23% reported budget constraints were a big concern in maintaining and growing their ventures. For brand new small businesses, budgeting was their top challenge, something expected for businesses opened less than a year.
Other findings from the survey:
- Eighty percent of respondents say they now maintain enough freedom and flexibility to support their work-life balance. That finding came despite the challenge to keep pace with digital innovation that companies face today.
- Those surveyed maintain a high level of mobility, working off-site and in multiple locations instead of at a fixed venue. The younger the business (less than one year old), the more likely it is to have employees who work mainly with mobile devices. As companies get larger, mobile use gives way to other devices and digital options for how work gets done.
- In navigating the demands of both budget and technological readiness, over 30% of the respondents report they are likely to turn to familiar sources (a family or close friend) for technical guidance or help with computers, email or software.
- In terms of cybersecurity threats, 50% reported they are not concerned about a data breach, while 25% are doing anything to protect themselves.
- Twenty-six percent of respondents stated they have a formal relationship with a support or service establishment, small businesses said comfortable, human interaction was key in how they sought help.