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Small Businesses Say They’ve Seen the Signs – 2010 is Looking Up!

Randy Scarborough, Vice President of Marketing for FedEx Office

For three years running, the FedEx Office Signs of the Times Survey has polled small business owners around the U.S. to see how they’re feeling about both the broader economy and their businesses – and what approaches they’re taking to grow and thrive in good times and bad.

The findings in 2010 continue to show off the amazing optimism and resiliency of the small business community – because according to the results of this April 2010 research, small businesses are seeing signs that point to recovery! In fact, 72 percent believe they’ll be the driving force behind the U.S. economic recovery in 2010 and 51 percent say their businesses have already or will fully recover by the end of this year.

This is great news for small businesses, but the real question on everyone’s mind is: How will they do it?

As a marketing guy, I know the answer. And the small businesses we spoke to do, too. If I haven’t already given it away, smart, savvy marketing and advertising programs are the solution!

In the three years we’ve fielded this survey, small business owners continue to say they will turn to marketing and advertising initiatives to help them build business. In fact, when times were tough in 2009, even more businesses reported considering an increase in spending on this area to fight back against the recession. For 2010, nearly half (42 percent) of small businesses are considering increasing spending on marketing and advertising initiatives in 2010, and 30 percent say they may increase spending on sales initiatives – both actions specifically aimed at boosting customer traffic and revenues.

Diving a bit deeper, small businesses are sticking with their tried-and-true, traditional marketing tactics while increasingly expanding their reach into social media platforms and online spaces.
•    A whopping 87 percent of respondents report that printed marketing/advertising tools are somewhat to very effective at driving customers to businesses
•    Another 61 percent believe traditional marketing/advertising methods are more effective than Web-based counterparts at bringing in customers.
•    44 percent of small business owners plan to grow business in 2010 by increasing communication with existing and potential customers via printed materials like newsletters and direct mail campaigns.
•    At the same time 46 percent of small businesses have plans to grow business in 2010 by improving their company’s online presence, while another 36 percent plan to utilize social media/networking websites to build business.

As a marketing professional, it’s wonderful to see small businesses leverage the tools of my trade to help sustain and grow their business through both recessionary and boom times. Even more rewarding – I know FedEx Office is a company they often turn to for help when it comes time to produce those marketing materials that help them look good on paper.

To view results from FedEx Office small business surveys dating back to 2008, visit and search for “Signs of the Times.” To learn about the range of professional marketing solutions available to businesses of all sizes at FedEx Office, visit

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Nice info...sounds like a man educated at Walt Disney would write. Keep up the great work!

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