Small Business Optimism At Five-year High Since Great Recession, Yet Growth Challenges Persist
"We've seen real improvement in business owners' confidence about the stability and sustainability of their operations -- indicating many entrepreneurs are focusing less on recovery and looking ahead toward new prospects and growth. This is a terrific sign for our local and national economies given the tremendous impact small businesses have on job creation and innovation," said
The Biggest Challenge: Attracting and Retaining Customers
Despite their increasing optimism, small business owners continue to face challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining customers. According to a recent Capital One Spark Business survey of 505 small business owners conducted online by Harris Poll in April, 76 percent of owners face marketing challenges, with 39 percent claiming they have not executed any marketing initiatives in the past six months. Some of the challenges uncovered by the survey include:
- Identifying and reaching new customer prospects (41 percent)
- Finding money to market their business (32 percent)
- Gaining attention due to local competition (18 percent)
- Getting advice on the best marketing approaches (18 percent)
- Customer retention (17 percent)
More than 64 percent of small business owners feel they're unable to effectively market their businesses the way they'd like to, according to the survey. Meanwhile, a majority have the desire to increase marketing efforts – with nearly 70 percent of small businesses saying they would designate extra funds toward marketing efforts – yet only eight percent of small business owners have a mentor who can lend the necessary insight or strategic direction to do so.
A Path toward Growth: BusinessAdvising.org
In an effort to help bridge this gap for all small business owners across the country,
"For small business owners, working with the right business advisor has a huge impact in achieving sustainable business growth," said
As part of this partnership, Capital One will also provide associate volunteers to serve as small business advisors. The launch of BusinessAdvising.org is part of Capital One's
"At Capital One, we are keenly focused on empowering individuals, businesses and communities with better technology, as well as useful products, resources and programs tailored to meet their needs," Gohman said. "Our research and interactions with business owners in the field fuels our commitment to offer the resources needed to succeed in today's digital economy. Through our strategic partnership with BusinessAdvising.org and the launch of programs like Spark Plug, Capital One is getting small businesses on the path to success through best-in-class resources, marketing expertise, and talented business advisors."
Spark Plug Gives Small Business Owners a Marketing Boost
As part of its ongoing initiative to recognize and reward its customers, Capital One has launched a customer campaign aimed at helping small business owners obtain what they want most – more customers. The Spark Plug campaign gives
The Capital One Spark Business survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Capital One within
About Spark Business
Capital One® offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. Spark Business from Capital One comprises a suite of products and services specifically designed for small business, including credit cards with unlimited rewards, no-fee checking and savings, and secure and flexible merchant service offerings. Spark Business provides tips, resources, and inspiration to help your business thrive at www.SparkBusinessIQ.com. For more information, visit www.CapitalOne.com/smallbusiness.
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SOURCE Capital One
Nicole Wyman, Nicole.Wyman@capitalone.com, (202) 309-9132