What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum
|Chris Crum has been a featured writer with the WebProNews.com team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Chris writes for Small Business Resources about social media, search, and what’s new for small business. Hundreds of publications link to Chris’ articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.|
Survey Finds Over One-Third of Voters Are Buying Local More Frequently
During Small Business Week, the University of Phoenix School of Business released the results of a Morning Consult survey conducted in April. Among its most noteworthy findings was that more than one-third of voting Americans say they have increased the amount they buy local over the past year.
According to the school, the value of small business extends beyond personal interests for most Americans. It found that nine out of ten American voters believe small businesses are important to their communities and the health of the United States economy. As many as sixty-two percent indicated that they buy locally most if not all of the time in order to support small businesses in their own communities. 35 percent even said they have increased the amount they buy locally over the past year.
Buying local is obviously important when it comes to supporting communities. Time once shared research from an independent think tank called the New Economics Foundation, which compared what happens when people buy produce at a supermarket to when they buy at a farmer's market or community-supported agriculture program. It found that twice the money stayed in the community when people bought local.
CustomMade has a great infographic about "why buying local is worth every cent" pulling data from a number of sources. According to this, local business generates 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail, and spending $100 at an independent business equals $68 in local economic activity.
To gather its findings, the University of Phoenix School of Business commissioned Morning Consult to poll a national sample of 2,003 registered U.S. voters from April 20 to April 22. It also found that over half (56 percent) of these voters have a parent, immediate family member, or close friend who have either previously owned a business or currently own one. Fourteen percent of these voters claim to currently own businesses themselves.
The report points to data from the United States Small Business Administration showing that small businesses have provided two-thirds of all net jobs since the 1970s and that small businesses currently employ 56.1 million of the country's private workforce. It also notes that this is more than the enterprise sector (in other words, companies with more than 500 employees), which based on stats from Census.gov, employs 51.6 million people.
According to a Chicago Tribune article referencing data from Paychex, small businesses produce 13 times more patents than larger firms.
Ruth Veloria, executive dean of University of Phoenix School of Business, said, “Small business not only plays a critical role in the economy, but it is often where the innovation happens, Many big businesses today are trying to capture that spirit in their own organizations and are looking to small businesses for inspiration to be more nimble and customer-centric.”
As the school presented its findings for Small Business Week, Veloria offered some tips for those aspiring to be small business owners. First and foremost, this includes starting with a business idea that fulfills specific customer needs and has enough market demand. She also stressed creating a business plan and using it to set priorities, avoiding operating in a vacuum, finding a mentor, being reflective and honest, and not being afraid to "fail forward".