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Small business outlook

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Some well-illustrated research from a late 2011 NFIB survey on small business owner sentiment and plans.

Key findings include:

  • 3 out of 5 owners said uncertainty – both economic and political – impedes growth.
  • Three-quarters of owners want to add employees in the next five years. Sixty percent want to add between on and 9 people.
  • More than half of respondents – 53% – said lack of demand from consumers is a key factor impeding growth.
  • Oddly, 52% of owners said they expect “little to no change” in their marketing plans.

Check out our January cover story on the new consumer, and what you can do to better understand – and sell to – them in the next year.


February 8th, 2012 at 1:45 pm

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Millennials explained

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The Millennials will soon be your employees, suppliers and customers Here’s a visual guide to this new generation, compiled from data from the Pew Research Center.

Created by: Online Graduate Programs


January 26th, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Weekly round-up

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PitchEngine: Create from PitchEngine on Vimeo.

  • New Pew study: “The internet is the source that people most rely on for material about the local business scene and search engines are particularly valued. Newspapers and word of mouth also rank high as sources.”
  • LA Times: After “arborgeddon,” the city must examine its plans for maintaining one of the country’s largest urban forests.
  • Jeff Korhan on why the new Google Currents makes more sense for your business than just Facebook.
  • Landscape Ontario cleans up after the Occupy Toronto protests.
  • Chris Heiler calls 2012 the year of the tablet.
  • Something for your springtime designs: Pantone’s color of the year.
  • In social media – and most other things, come to think of it – more is not always better.
  • Related: The best essay I’ve read in recent memory on the nature of improvement.
  • Seth Godin lays out a good list of 2012 goals for just about anybody.
  • Above: Need to beef up your PR? Try PitchEngine. It integrates your text, social media and interactive content in one place to create a great-looking and very shareable piece.
  • Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

    December 16th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Get them in your sights

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    This happy family would love to purchase some landscaping services. As well as a new Studebaker and one of those color televisions they've heard so much about.

    Big Brother is watching, and recording. Marketers, researchers and analysts mine all sorts of data to figure out what makes people tick. Input some information on your target customer demographic to find out what they do for fun, what TV shows they watch and what they spend their money on.

    A new tool from Marketplace gives you 65 profiles of American households. The site is a collaboration between Marketplace, a daily radio broadcast from American Public Media, and mapping and data analyst company ESRI.

    We mentioned this in our January cover story, but it’s a fun way to learn a little more about what your customers are into. Here are some great examples. Recognize any of your customers? Or yourself?

    The power parents! You are in your mid-30s to mid-40s, you are highly educated, highly successful in your career and you make bank. You also make jellyfish costumes out of streamers and garbage bags for the 4th grade production of The Little Mermaid. You’ve got kids in school and they dominate your free time and your wallet. You drop most of your dough on toys, sports equipment, flat-screen TVs, family vacations and video games.

    Senior Sun Seekers:
    The snowbirds! Break out the playing cards and the SPF, your golden years are all about sun. Your budget maybe tight, but that doesn’t stop you from migrating between houses depending on the weather – while there, you like to invest in fixing the place up. You love eating out as well as painting, and gardening. You’re very fit and active and also active in your community—belonging to local fraternal orders and participating in charities. You love the great outdoors, and are a frequent visitor to national parks and also like to hunt and fish.

    Main Street USA:
    It’s the Griswolds! You are solidly middle class, average in our late 30s, own a house and most of your have kids. You’re very family oriented. You’ve got a solid job (which you NEED because braces, piano lessons and summer camp are not cheap). You watch your pennies and tend to prefer frugal activities like home movie night or board games. When you travel, it’s all about the munchkins—theme parks and national parks (Walley World!) You enjoy working on your home and your lawn. You enjoy eating out when not savoring the latest installment from the Jelly of the Month Club. Also, you own cats (don’t let them near the Christmas lights!)

    Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

    May 9th, 2011 at 11:32 am

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    It’s getting crowded in here

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    The 2010 U.S. Census data were released yesterday, and it was the first to officially peg the nation’s population at more than 300 million. That’s a lot of people, and most of them are migrating (not surprisingly) to the Southeast and the West.

    This is good news for companies in states like Nevada and Arizona, as they’ll continue to see an influx of potential new customers.

    In an interview with NPR, Census Director Robert Groves says that these transplants — leaving the Midwest and Northeast to find warmer weather and easier winters — bring with them their own cultural practices. This means an affection for lawns, trees and plants.

    It also bodes well for the GOP, which tends to mean good things for the business community. But it remains to be seen if the shifting population adopts the traditionally more conservative politics of the South and West.

    This census was the first to count everyone in the country, not just citizens and legal immigrants. Groves said 40 percent of the nation’s growth could be attributed to immigration.

    For an interactive display of the latest data and see how things are changing in your neck of the woods, click here.

    Written by admin

    December 22nd, 2010 at 12:28 pm

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