Gallup and Wells Fargo recently released results from their Q1 2014 Small Business Index.
The study found that attracting customers, targeting business opportunities, and finding new business were among the top challenges for small business owners in the U.S. 21% of owners cited these (combined) as the top challenge. Behind these, but significantly lower in percentage, were government regulation, the economy, healthcare/Obamacare, hiring qualified/good staff and retaining them, financial stability/cash flow, and costs/fees of running business/having enough money for capital investment.
In other words, the biggest challenge facing small business, by far, is simply getting new customers.
eMarketer has put out some charts based on data from the study. Here's a look at the challenges, and how businesses view them:
With that data in hand, eMarketer turns to March data from Huzzah Media about the most successful marketing tactics that help small businesses "grab prospects' attention".
Friend referrals is by far the most successful at 52.2%, followed by advertising at 33.2%. Coupons and press articles have surprisingly little success at 3.5% and 1.3% respectively. Check out the report for the full graph and further analysis.
The data for the Small Business Index comes from telephone interviews with 603 small business owners, conducted from January 2nd to January 6th.
Image via eMarketer