Yelp has released some findings from its first annual Small Business Pulse survey, which reached out to 900 small businesses in an effort to learn more about their focus in 2016. According to the company there is a great deal of optimism among these businesses.
It found that 85% of American small businesses active on Yelp expect revenues to grow, estimating a 26% increase next year.
Are you optimistic about the coming year? Let us know in the comments.
"Yelp small businesses have a clear message heading into 2016: the recovery is over -- it’s time to grow, baby, grow!" says Yelp's Morgan Remmers. "As the economy continues to improve and new digital tools emerge to connect with existing customers and reach new ones, small businesses are poised for a great 2016."
The company surveyed businesses from "nearly every" industry including food service, health and medical services, retail, and home services. Restaurant small businesses are most optimistic with 92% expecting increased revenues. Startups predict 48% growth on average over the coming year, according to Yelp.
"While there is a clear measure of confidence in the year ahead, there is no question that small businesses face plenty of challenges too," says Remmers. "Developing effective growth strategies and rising above competition are top of mind; specifically, attracting and retaining customers (60%), managing a limited marketing budget (32%), and competition from larger businesses (30%)."
According to Yelp, digital marketing "levels the playing field," and that includes "feedback economy" platforms like Yelp.
"Businesses and consumers can now directly engage, bringing together an online community that crosses geographic, economic and social barriers – and giving business owners the digital tools and confidence they need to stay competitive," says Remmers.
According to the survey, 85% of small businesses think digital marketing has directly helped them grow their consumer base, and 91% use digital marketing tools. 75% use social media platforms while 48% use consumer review platforms. 48% use search engine advertising.
79% think digital tools let them provide a more personal touch in their communities and address individual customer needs, Yelp says.
Here's an infographic highlighting some of Yelp's major findings:
As a small business owner, where do you land on the outlook for 2016. Do you share the optimism? Do you consider digital marketing, and in particular, services like Yelp to be critical to leveling the playing field? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Images via Yelp, Yelp (Flickr)