Zoomerang Survey Reveals Sunny Outlook Among Small Businesses for 2012 Despite economic hardships endured by 61 percent of respondents, many small to mid-sized businesses plan to hire in social media and business development sectors

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 40 percent of small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) remain optimistic or very optimistic about their businesses heading into the New Year, despite 61 percent facing economic hardships and 50 percent failing to meet business goals in 2011. These statistics are revealed in the newly released survey conducted by Zoomerang Online Surveys and Polls, a leader in the online survey space, and GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.

The data suggests that although SMBs do not plan to expand their 2012 business models, they do plan to devote resources to currently existing departments. A large number of SMBs do not plan to expand or diversify their company's focus in 2012. Rather, only 19 percent of respondents revealed plans to expand their businesses in 2012, focusing instead on internal growth. According to the survey results, 60 percent of SMBs plan to focus investments and staffing in the business development sector to offset challenges experienced in customer growth.

"Many small businesses are optimistic about 2012, despite the economic challenges they faced in 2011," said Alex Terry, general manager at Zoomerang Online Surveys and Polls. "According to the Small Business Association (SBA), SMBs employ about half of all private sector employees.  It's gratifying to see SMB owners' resilience and their willingness to invest in the future of their businesses."

The recent survey findings reveal that SMBs plan to fill existing positions or promote employees within business development and social media departments – focusing on internal processes instead of altering business plans. Interestingly, a third of respondents plan to use advertising, marketing and social media as the primary methods of attracting new customers, despite 25 percent stating that they do not personally feel comfortable with social media tools.

"While SMBs see the value of social media for their companies, they still do not understand how to use these tools effectively for their businesses. In order for small businesses to remain competitive, it's vital for them to be present on the channels that their customers access most often," says Rieva Lesonsky, CEO and founder of GrowBiz Media.

About the Survey

Conducted during a five day period from November 3-7, 2011, the survey was created to gauge the current state of SMBs in 2011 and their 2012 business projections. Respondents included more than 1,000 SMB decision-makers from Zoomerang's Online Survey Panel; primary research was conducted in order to assess SMB sentiments towards related topics.

About Zoomerang

Zoomerang is a fast, easy-to-use and powerful tool to make and send your own online surveys and polls. Millions of people and thousands of businesses, non-profits and educational institutions trust Zoomerang online surveys and polls to gather feedback, allowing them to make better decisions with minimal cost and effort. Zoomerang provides customizable survey templates for the most common questions including customer satisfaction, meeting feedback, product feedback, event planning, online voting and hundreds more. Zoomerang customers can take advantage of Zoomerang Sample, a panel of more than 2.5 million consumers ready to take surveys. Zoomerang is a product of MarketTools, Inc. For more information, visit www.zoomerang.com.

About MarketTools, Inc.

MarketTools is the leading provider of software and services for market research and enterprise feedback management (EFM). The company is focused on providing leading organizations the actionable customer insights they need to make better business decisions that lead to high-value business impact. As the first company to make online surveys widely available on the Web, MarketTools continues its market leading position by providing the broadest range of powerful, accurate and integrated customer insight technologies that empower companies to become the most customer-centric organizations in their industries. The MarketTools premier portfolio of technology-based insight brands includes CustomerSat™, TrueSample®, Zoomerang®, ZoomPanel® and ZoomPanel Tech™. MarketTools is a privately held company with corporate headquarters in San Francisco and European headquarters in London. For more information, please visit: http://www.markettools.com.

About GrowBiz Media and Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is founder and CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her blog at SmallBizDaily.com. Visit her website SmallBizTrendCast to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva's free TrendCast reports.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Heather Arft
Airfoil PR for Zoomerang
650-691-7309
arft@airfoilpr.com

SOURCE Zoomerang Online Surveys and Polls



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