When asked about their own business situations, owners report similar quarterly and yearly trends, with 34% claiming that 2012 will end up better than business was last year, but only 27% saying they have seen that improvement by August. Comparing short-term frustration to full-year results, 43% project actual sales growth for 2012 over last year. In fact, 42% of respondents expect 2012 business sales or revenue to meet their goals and 14% expect to exceed goals.
REINVENTION TO REMAIN RELEVANT
Consistent with last quarter, more than half of respondents (52%) have reinvented their businesses to stay afloat or be more competitive in today’s marketplace. In August, 60% of respondents said they have added or changed the products they offer. Another 51% of “reinventors” overhauled their technology infrastructure, including replacing networks, computer systems and software systems. Among those who made changes, 40% say the initial trigger for reinvention was simply a feeling that something needed to change. Based on that gut reaction, they recommend research and to “get educated” as the first step in making those changes happen.
“Intuition can lead many small business owners to success in their quest for growth, because they remain close to their customers, the marketplace and operations,” says Byers. “While they often feel the need for change, they consistently reinforce that feeling with up-to-date knowledge to keep their business thriving. They even suggest research, education and following market changes to other business owners who plan to make significant changes.”
About the Citibank® Small Business Pulse
This Citibank survey was conducted via telephone August 9, 2012 – August 30, 2012 by Abt SRBI Research and Public Affairs among a national random sample of 750 small business owners/operators, age 18 and older throughout the United States. Oversample interviews were conducted in New York (200 interviews) and California (200 interviews) markets. The margin of error for the national sample is approximately +/- 3.58% and +/- 6.93% for New York and California over samples.
Surveys are subject to other error sources as well, including sampling coverage error, recording error, and respondent error.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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