In the past two months, I have been busy sending out a survey to friends, clients and colleagues. The survey was designed to measure and understand the views of SME Owners regarding business development, sales and marketing. It came about due to my belief that business development is a really cost effective way for SMEs to increase sales, which is why it is at the heart of my business model. However, I thought it was essential for me to understand my target market better and what better way than to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
Surveys are notoriously difficult to engage with and so I was pleasantly surprised when a good number of business owners filled it in. What did I learn? There were quite a few surprises alongside some expected patterns:
Here are a few expected patterns:
- The majority of businesses see target market analysis as important
- 68% of those surveyed have a business development/ sales plan
- In most micro Businesses the owner does the selling
- Most of those surveyed measure their lead generation and sales activity
Here are a few surprises:
- 31% of those surveyed do not have a business development/ sales plan
- Most businesses run pro-active sales and marketing activity
- The biggest obstacle for business growth is incompatible strategy
What stood out for me in particular, was the fact that so many SMEs have a business development plan yet the biggest obstacle to success seems to be a lack of strategy….This could mean that many small business owners treat planning as a necessary evil or lack the skill to create effective business development strategies. If this covers your business, you might want to consider this and decide if you should get some strategic advice.
If you are interested in taking a peek at the full set of results and drawing your own conclusions, click here. I would love to hear your views and feedback on this. What stood out for you in particular?