2016 Off to a Good Start for SMBs

This year is looking up for small businesses (SMBs), as a recent survey from Constant Contact reveals that more than 70 percent have met or exceeded their first quarter revenue targets.


In addition to a good start to 2016, the survey shows that SMBs finished 2015 on a high note. In fact, the data reveals that 61 percent of SMBs reported ending 2015 with higher revenues than 2014. What's more, the good start to 2016 has led 53 percent of SMBs to boost their marketing spend this year.


The increase in revenues and marketing spending, however, does not translate to more hires, as only seven percent of SMBs plan to hire full-time employees in 2016. Additional data shows that 50 percent of respondents don't plan to hire more employees in 2016, 17 percent will hire part-time only employees, 10 percent will hire both full-time and part-time employees and 16 percent are unsure if they will hire.


"Today's small business owner is a realist, a calculated risk taker, and a fast learner," said John Orlando, chief marketing officer at Constant Contact. "They understand today's business climate and what elements are in their control, and are increasing their reliance on online marketing as they take measured steps to achieve their business goals."


It is also important to note that the study found SMB owners view learning as a priority, with 52 percent allocating up to 10 percent of their time each month to learning something new. The top reason for SMBs commitment to learning is to stay ahead of the competition. Additional reasons include natural curiosity, professional development and to better understand customers. The top three topics most recently explored include social media, SEO and Facebook advertising. Lastly, the resources being leveraged to learn about these topics include colleagues/peers/friends, online search and webinars, followed by blogs, trade publications, news outlets, product review sites and podcasts.