First cup of coffee and cleaning out my inbox. Hmmm….what’s this? An e-mail from the Executive Board reporting survey results…open/read. WOW! The Executive Board (Enterprise Council on Small Business) is reporting in it “US Economy Update: Precursors To Recovery” report that optimism now outweighs negative beliefs by a wide majority. That is, a super majority of small business owners now believe the economy is in recovery. Here is the full communication (below).
Economic Pessimism Drops 54% in the Small Business Market
As the economy continues to dominate the airwaves, most of the news centers around tracking optimism. How many Americans think the economy will improve? How do corporate leaders feel about 2010? If you fall too far into this mindset, you can miss a host of additional measures of economic recovery. The Enterprise Council on Small Business (ECSB) has tracked a series of metrics throughout the recession, from attitudes to action steps to spending plans. Our most recent data, from August of this year, has some encouraging news on the mindset of business owners: while optimism regarding the economy showed very modest gains, pessimism dropped by more than 50% compared to earlier this year.
In April of this year, a full third of the small business market expected the economy to continue degrading over the remainder of the year. Five months later, that number has shrunk dramatically. As of August 2009, fewer than one in five business owners think the economy will continue to decline. The lack of pessimism paired with slowly building optimism suggests the small business market is primed for recovery. So what does that mean for your marketing? Here are a few suggestions:
- The recovery’s not here yet. As much as we’d like to report differently, we’re still in a stagnant economy and small business owners know it. Keep your high growth and blue sky marketing on the shelf for another six months in favor of more moderate and realistic messaging.
- Still, you can find pockets of optimism. Just as the national economy has pockets of growth and optimism, so does the small business market. Target segments that have experienced growth in 2009, or new businesses that have recently opened their doors, with more positive economic messaging.
- Start planning for the full recovery. While it’s unlikely the economy will enter a significant recovery before 2010, now is the time to start planning. Use your 2010 budgeting cycle as a kick-start for rebound planning. Both your budget and small business owner attitudes should dictate a considerably different 2010 marcom plan than what you executed in 2009.
Members can review all the recent data on business owners’ economic attitudes and spend intentions in the recently released report U.S. Economic Update: Precursors to Recovery, available on www.smbm.executiveboard.com or by contacting their relationship manager.