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Only 13% of owners and managers read blogs relating to their business and fewer than one in ten maintain blogs for their business (7%).

The encouraging news is that among those business people who do maintain blogs, just over half say they post to their blog on a daily basis (51%). The research for these business blogging trends was contained in a survey of business owners and managers conducted by OPEN from American Express Semi-annual Small Business Monitor, a semi-annual survey of business owners.

While the survey results appear somewhat pessimistic about the awareness of blogs within the independent business community, there is room for optimism. While only about one business person in eight reads blogs at the present time, there is definitely room for growth in that area. The fact that once a business blog is started, half of their owners post every day. Those business owners and managers who blog keep on blogging.

Business blog proponents have said for a long time that both small and medium independent business, along with large Fortune 1000 corporations, can benefit tremdously from adding a blog component to their communications and marketing programs. I would go a step farther and say that blog consultants have a really powerful opportunity to provide blogging advice and know how to those business people, regardless of client company size. It’s a growth industry, and we are here on the ground floor of a huge business blog consulting opportunity, that is unlimited in size.

As blog awareness becomes more widespread in the business community, the business of helping business people become bloggers is literally global in scale. The OPEN from American Express Semi-annual Small Business Monitor survey confirms that business people are aware of the need for technology. A slight majority of small business owners (51%) believe that “technology has transformed the way business is conducted” over the last 20 years:

So it is not surprising that four in ten small businesses will purchase new technology over the next six months, including computers and PCs (33%) and computer/system software or licenses (25%).

Nearly half (47%) will invest in mid-priced equipment, such as laptops, desktops or printers. One in four (25%) will consider major infrastructure investments, such as software, services or telephone systems. Modestly priced items such as PDAs or smart phones will be considered by fewer (12%).

Along with that understanding of the critical importance of technology to a business, is an understanding that building relationships is important. That alliance of blogging technology and a desire to develop long term customer and clients through trust and familiarity is well known to business bloggers. As the survey results indicate, entrepreneurs are actively seeking the blog alternative even if it’s not expressed in those terms:

Although entrepreneurs face challenges to growth they still love what they do and can’t imagine making a living any other way (38% vs. 44% last spring). One in four describe running their business as an uphill battle (25%). One in five find their business financially rewarding (22%), and one in ten experience 24/7 stress as a result of managing their business (10%). However, two-thirds (69%) would recommend a friend or family member go into business for themselves. The top reasons for their success, according to the survey are “I’m able to create good relationships and a sense of community through my business” (31%), and “I’ve struck a balance between my career and my family” (28%). The most desired aspect of running a small business is that owners/managers enjoy living and working by their own rules (38%).

That “desire to create good relationships and a sense of community” quoted above are precisely the values generated through business blogs. In fact, it would appear that the majority of business owners would welcome and embrace the blogging option if it were presented to them in terms of customer relationship enhancement and community building.

The future is bright for entrepreneurs to embrace blogging as a powerful alliance of technology and relationship building. The desire of many business owners to add the combination, of blog technology and resulting communities developed, to their immediate business plans bodes well for their business business future success. The understanding of the power of blogging bodes well for the professional blog consulting community too.

Another win-win situation for everyone involved is born. As usual, blogging is at the very heart of the solution.

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Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

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