An annual survey by the largest provider of barcode technology in the United States showed that information technology and marketing will continue to consume even larger budgets in the increasingly noisy web-based business world.
Wasp Barcode Technologies surveyed more than 1,100 companies for its annual “State of Small Business Report.” Of course, definitions of small business change from study to study. Of Wasp’s responsdents, 21 percent were companies with 5 to 10 employees, but 15.3 percent were companies with 101 or more employees.
Among the more interesting findings:
- While 10 percent of business owners don’t want government involved in business, 50 percent believe government doesn’t do enough to support their business.
- 77 percent of respondents expect increasing revenue in 2017 compared with just 57 percent who expected revenue to grow in 2016.
- 50 percent of the companies expect to hire additional employees in 2017 versus just 38 percent who expected to add workers in 2016.
At Thinker, the results that interested the most were the changing ways companies find new customers.
- 44 percent reported that they expected to increase spending on information technology.
- The larger the company, the more they expected to increase IT investment. Twenty-eight percent of companies with one to 50 employees expected to increase IT spending versus 46 percent of the companies with more than 101 employees.
- 62 percent expect to spend 4 percent or more of their budget on marketing in 2017 versus 56 percent that planned to spend above that level in 2016.
This makes perfect sense because the web gets more crowded every single minute. According to Internetlivestats.com, there are now more than 1.1 billion web sites and about 60 new ones are created each minute. Of those, about 75 percent are inactive, still this means there is increasing competition every second to make your company stand out online.
Keeping your company on top of technological trends is key because finding customers is increasingly a digital endeavor. The top 10 marketing tools of business in 2017 are expected to be:
- Email (54%)
- Website (51%)
- Social media (48%)
- Word of mouth (45%)
- Direct mail (37%)
- Internet advertising (35%)
- TV, radio and/or print ads (34%)
- Print collateral (32%)
- SEO (25%)
- Tradeshows and/or conferences (23%)