Survey reveals SMEs concerned about economy

| September 22, 2009 | 0 Comments

More than half of small & medium-sized business owners (57%) believe that the recession will continue until at least next spring.

The findings are a result of a survey conducted by Amplify - the communications company.

Amplify conducted the survey during the summer and also found that business owners would have done things differently if they had to endure another recession with one third stating they would have been quicker to reduce employee numbers, while 43% said they would have put a much greater focus on sales and marketing.

The survey also established that in the April to June period, 38% of SMEs said their sales order books were hit the hardest, while 26% said the first quarter was the worst period.

However, only 31% said they have not seen any real fall in orders over the last nine months.

In order to weather the downturn, 43% of SMEs are investing in enhancing their website, while more than half (57%) are cutting costs in order to boost sales.

Responding to the survey’s findings, Stephen Alambritis from the Federation of Small Businesses said: “It is hugely reassuring to learn that more small firms are investing in improving their website.

“As the home market struggles to recover it is important that businesses appeal to international patronage. The global economy has meant the death of distance in commercial transactions and what better way to take advantage of this phenomenon than to invest in online collaboration,” added Mr Alambritis.

Meanwhile David Holt, director of contact management at Amplify, comments: “Although many small business owners’ experiences in this downturn are unique there are some common threads.

“Firms that have read the market well are thriving despite the economic gloom. Success is also coming from getting closer to customers and seeking more feedback, more regularly on what they want,” added Mr Holt.

Mr Holt concludes: “There is no doubt that some online collaboration and social media strategies integrated with corporate websites and email can really help keep SMEs in front of their prospects and keep the lifeline of new business flowing in through tougher economic times.”

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