March 08, 2013
SME business owners juggle too many tasks, and it affects their focus on strategy and success, according to new research by Pitney Bowes.
The research studied the marketing habits of over 500 UK small businesses, and it found that the traditional enemies of SMEs – time (21%) and money (36%) – are holding back marketing aspirations. On average, business owners juggle an average of seven roles on a daily basis, and many are prioritising low-level tasks over more strategic activities.
The survey found that 35% of respondents said they buy the stationery, compared to 32% that do marketing and 25% who tackle top-level business strategy. The results also show that one in five small business owners help with office repairs and 16% get involved in cleaning.
And while 77% of respondents said they viewed marketing as important, one in five did not have a marketing plan and 35% carried out marketing activities on an ad hoc basis. Even so, 20% of respondents said they wanted to ramp up their marketing activity over the next year.
The survey shows that businesses are using both print advertising and online marketing channels to promote their business. Mobile is also moving up the agenda – while just 8% have a mobile-optimised website, 49% say mobile is a part of their marketing activity.
Ryan Higginson, vice president digital channel Europe at Pitney Bowes, said: "Starting and running a small business requires a huge investment of time and money, while the owner of the business is often found approaching disciplines that he or she has little expertise in such as mobile marketing. However, there are easy-to-use, time efficient tools available at a low cost that help small business effectively embrace newer digital marketing channels as well as support the traditional ones."