An autumn international survey of SMB owners indicates high rates of optimism and motivated thinking, which could spell opportunity for channel pros.
By Geoffrey Oldmixon
December 07, 2012
Despite the looming so-called “fiscal cliff,” SMBs remain optimistic. So says an October report from Bermuda-based insurance group Hiscox.
In its fourth annual “DNA of an Entrepreneur” survey of SMB owners in the UK, USA, Netherlands, Germany, France, and Spain, the insurance group found optimism to be a prevailing reported characteristic among respondents. “Many more SMBs are optimistic than pessimistic despite tough times in the last year,” the Hiscox report reads.
The insurance group surveyed SMB owners whose businesses are predominantly service-based (79 percent). Forty-one percent are one-person businesses and 73 percent have fewer than five employees. The research was conducted for Hiscox by The Survey Shop.
According to Hiscox CEO Bronek Masojada, the study results point to a positive SMB market in general and to supporting evidence of a recovering global economy at large. “Our fourth annual study of SMBs confirms what we know from working closely with SMBs,” he says. “They consider and manage a wide variety of local, national, and global risks everyday while keeping faith in their values and ambitions.”
Optimistic Trends & Positive Data
Although SMBs have experienced tough trading conditions in recent years, the Hiscox survey study shows that 48 percent of respondents overall express optimism about the year ahead. “This is compared to 27 percent, who declared themselves pessimists,” states a Hiscox press release submitted to ChannelPro-SMB, “and 26 percent who were not sure.”
Among the positive survey responses were the following:
- New Customers—In five out of six surveyed countries, a majority of respondents reported an increase in new customers (72 percent in Germany; 64 percent in the US; 62 percent in the Netherlands).
- SMB Space Advantages—As many as 91 percent of respondents found benefits from running an SMB compared to working in a large company.
- Reported Growth—Roughly 45 percent of SMBs reported profit growth over the last 12 months.
- Hires & Duties—Across all countries, 75 percent of respondents hope to avoid redundancies in the year ahead or even recruit.
- Talented Noobs—Of the respondents claiming to have recruited new talent in recent months, 63 percent gave them high ratings for keenness and motivation.