Tag Archive for 'Poll Question'

POLL RESULTS: To what do you attribute the reason the U.S. economy is still slow?

The Question: To what do you attribute the reason the U.S. economy is still slow?

2% - The slowdown in the global economy - especially China.

77% - Washington’s anti-business policies, especially from Obama.

16% - Lack of investment in the economy by corporate America.

5% - What slow economy? We’re doing great.

Jim’s Comments:
In our poll this week, only 5% of America’s small businesses report their businesses are doing great, while more than three-fourths say they think their business is being held back by Washington’s anti-business policies. If this were any other significant voting bloc, these numbers would be foretelling a revolution.

And make no mistake. When you add up all small business owners in America, plus their employees and voting age dependent children, that number would total about 100 million voters. Find another constituency like that!

With this sentiment in evidence, if small business owners and their connected “family” got organized behind what’s good for the entity that feeds and clothes them, they could be the electoral revolution. And the result would be what’s good for small business. Which I’ve long held and have many times said that what’s good for small business is good for the world.

Alas, we’re not organized. If we were, the world would change - for the better.

Thanks for playing along. Please participate in this week’s poll below.

RESULTS: What do you think of executive action?

The Question:  
President Obama has indicated he is prepared to take executive action on immigration reform without Congress. What do you think?

0% - The president has the authority to do this and should
51% - Only Congress is authorized to change immigration laws
15% - I don’t care as long as we start resolving the immigration problem
34% - Here they go again. God help us
Jim’s Comments:
As you can see, none of our small business audience thinks President Obama has the Constitutional authority to change immigration laws. Over half specifically say presidents are not supposed to make laws, and the rest have basically thrown up their hands in exasperation.

With President Obama in the White House and a GOP-led Congress, the next two years are going to be rocky in Washington. But with this step Obama has just taken on immigration, it looks like he’s declared his intention to be combative and not in the mood to compromise during his final two years in office. #GodHelpUs

Small Business Advocate Poll: Are generation gaps in the workplace creating communication barriers?

The Question:
There has never been a time when so many age groups are in the workplace. Are you seeing any communication challenges between the generations?

31% - Very much - it’s like we’re from different planets

57% - Somewhat - it’s noticeable but we’re handling it

11% - Not at all - what problem?

My Commentary:
“What we have hee-yah, is a fail-ya to communicate.” This was the lament of Captain, the road crew boss in the movie “Cool Hand Luke,” played by the great character actor, Strother Martin. Apparently, there is a lot of this going around in the workplace today.

As you can see, 89% of our respondents reported some level of communication issues between the generations in the workplace, with almost one-third expressing extreme frustration. There are a number of reasons for this, especially in two areas: the increasing influence of technology in our lives and we’re living in a time where people are staying in the workplace longer than in the past 100 years.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Small Business Advocate Poll: What is your experience in finding qualified applicants for job openings?

The Question:
What is your experience in finding qualified applicants
for your job openings?

38% - We have job openings but it’s difficult finding qualified applicants

32% - We are able to find qualified employees when we have an opening.

29% - We are not hiring and don’t expect to this year.

My Comments:
Over the past several decades, the challenge most often identified by small business owners as their greatest has varied between inflation, taxes and the cost of health care insurance. But for the past few years, another concern has risen to the top of the list: finding qualified employee candidates.

Consequently, in last week’s poll we asked, “What is your experience in finding qualified applicants for your job openings?

The greatest number, almost four of ten, said, “We have job openings but it’s difficult finding qualified applicants.” one-third of our respondents reported, “We are able to find qualified employees when we have an opening,” while a little less than one-third said, “We are not hiring and don’t expect to this year.”

The American economy - and society - has serious problems when only 40% of small businesses are growing employment, but even those can’t find qualified applicants among 22 million unemployed.


On The Small Business Advocate Show, I’ve talked with Bob Prosen, President/CEO of the Prosen Center for Business Advancement and author of Kiss Theory Good Bye about improving your hiring practices to find employees for 21st century jobs. Take a few minutes to click on one of the links below to listen or download our conversations.

Improving your 21st century hiring practices

Hire new employees who have done their homework

Hire salespeople who understand customer relationships

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Small Business Advocate Poll: How will the economy influence your vote for president?

The Question:
How much will the condition of the econ
omy influence your vote for president in November?

15% - The condition of the economy will influence my vote for president.

12% - Regardless of how the economy is doing, I will vote for Obama.

73% - Regardless of how the economy is doing, I will vote for the Republican ticket.

My Comments:
During the 1992 presidential election, between incumbent George H. W. Bush and the challenger, Bill Clinton, a tiny little recession had occurred that was just big enough to be a factor in that contest.

One of Clinton’s advisors, James Carville, coined a phrase that arguably helped his candidate win that year, “It’s the economy, stupid.” And 20 years and five presidential election cycles later, the term endures as the maxim to introduce economic issues into any political debate.

Even though America is still dealing with vestiges of the The Great Recession, the U.S. economy does seem to be exhibiting recovery signs. Still, enough economic challenges remain in what I’ve termed the “Not-so-great Recovery,” for Republicans to be able to turn the tables on Democrats and co-opt “It’s the economy, stupid,” as their 2012 campaign slogan.

We wanted to see how much the economy was going to factor into the 2012 presidential election, so we asked our audience this question: “How much will the condition of the economy influence your vote for president in November?” Here’s what you said:

Those who said they have already made up their minds and will vote for one side or the other, regardless of the condition of the economy came in at 12% for Obama and 73% for whoever is running on the Republican side. While only 15% of the respondents to our unscientific online poll said, “The condition of the economy will influence my vote for president.”

The good news for President Obama is the economy does seem to be improving and may well be less of a complaint against him. The bad news for the President, at least if our audience is any kind of an indicator, is that many voters have already made up their minds, as if to say “Anyone else, stupid.”

In the past few days I’ve talked with two experts on my radio show about how much they think unemployment and the economy will impact the election in November:

Former Chief Economist of National City Bank, Richard DeKaser is President of Woodley Park Research, where he oversees macroeconomic forecasting, real time economic analysis, and housing valuation research.

Bill Brandt is President and Chief Executive Officer of Development Specialists, Inc., a firm specializing in the provision of management, consulting and turnaround assistance to troubled or reorganizing concerns.

Click on the links below and listen to what these smart men have to say. You may be surprised!

How much will employment impact the 2012 election? with Richard DeKaser

Will the economy be a major issue in the 2012 election? with Bill Brandt

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Serving customers online is not an option, it’s an imperative

Continuing the series on small business responses to poll questions on our e-newsletter and website, recently we asked this question about e-commerce (aka online sales, aka Internet sales): How much of your small business’ annual revenue comes from online sales? Here is what our respondents said:

·  Five percent said all revenue came from e-commerce.

·  Fourteen percent said more than half of their sales came from the Internet.

·  A little more than half said e-commerce represented less than 50% of total sales.

·  One fourth said they had no online sales at all.

E-commerce has been around for a big chunk of the commercial Internet age, which began in 1995 when unencumbered access to the Internet was fully allowed. But in terms of historical marketplace practices, e-commerce is just a baby.  So I’m actually quite pleased with the mix of responses we received, indicating that 75% of small businesses are generating some e-commerce revenue.  But over the next five years, there will be significant increased pressure to generate online sales.

According to the research firm, Forrester, online sales will reach $248.7 billion in the next five years, accounting for 8 percent of total U.S. retail sales by 2014. But the next statistic may be more important (read: ominous) for small businesses.

Forrester also predicts that by 2014, over half of all retail sales will be influenced by online product and company research before customers make a purchase.  The reason this stat is so significant is because of another piece of research that produced this astonishing number: Half of small businesses DO NOT have a website.

Regardless of size or industry, no business can expect to be successful in the future without a web presence. Even if you don’t sell online, you MUST be available online so prospects can find you the way people are looking today. Here are two words that make having a website even more of an
imperative: local search.

Local search is increasingly replacing the phone book or dialing 411. Even when customers don’t expect a business to have e-commerce capability, like a restaurant or dry cleaners, they do expect to be able to find you online, with product offerings, directions and a clickable phone number.

If you don’t have a website, get one; today you can actually get a simple one for free. And unless you sell nuclear products or Stinger missiles, please, find a way to offer e-commerce to your customers; It’s not free, but it’s no longer cost-prohibitive.

Serving customers online is not an option, it’s an imperative

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