Tag Archive for 'Poll Response'

POLL RESULTS: The Supreme Court and Obamacare

The Question:

The Supreme Court may strike down a major component of Obamacare this month. What do you think?

5% - I like Obamacare and hope they don’t change it.

66% - I don’t like Obamacare and hope they strike it down.

18% - I won’t be impacted either way.

11% - I don’t know.

Jim’s Comments:

As you can see, the Affordable Care Act is not popular among small business owners. The primary reason is it isn’t more affordable than what most of us already had, plus it has added extra regulatory complications to our lives.

But stay tuned, because sometime this coming week the Supreme Court will likely announce their decision on King v Burwell. This case has many implications that I’ve either written about or talked about with experts on my show. Here are the main points to keep in mind:

* If the decision goes against the Obama Administration, it would essentially void many of the law’s key components, making it a shadow of its former self.

* If the decision goes for the President, it would establish that the IRS can interpret laws as they see fit, rather than as written.

This may not be the most significant ruling in the history of the high court, but surely it’s one of them. Say a prayer for the Constitution.

RESULTS: How do you rate President’s Obama’s years in office?

The Question:

President Obama just delivered his seventh State of the Union. After six years in office, how do you rate his presidency?

4% - I give him an A; he’s done an excellent job.
6% - I score him a C+ to a B; he’s done an average to good job.
19% - I give him a D to a C; he’s just been average or less.
70% - I give him an F; his presidency is a total failure.

Jim’s Comments:
As you can see, President Obama doesn’t have a very good rep on Main Street. Small business owners may not be the most sophisticated in the marketplace, but we don’t need an MBA to pick up on anti-business rhetoric and policies. And from other polls I’ve seen, these numbers are consistent even among business owners who once voted for the president. I’m going to have more to say about this in an upcoming Feature Article. Stay tuned.

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!

How’s business?

As I have talked with small business owners across the country over the past few months, the abiding topic of discussion is the economy. “How’s business?” I ask. The answers I get depend upon many factors:  Some industries are not good across the country, like anything connected to real estate, for example. Some markets are having a tougher time than others, with almost no industries or sectors escaping the local economic blight. Las Vegas comes to mind, as does Detroit.

But just as one person tells me things are tough, if I do an about-face and ask another small business owner, the news may well be very good.

We thought a good way to get a handle on what’s really happening in the small business sector of the economy would be to ask about growth plans for next year, so we asked this question last week:  “Based on what you see now, what are your business growth and investment expectation plans for the new year?” Here’s what our respondents told us:

One-in-five — 20% — said they were doing so well that they were definitely making plans not only to make new investments in their businesses in 2011, but also to hire new people. The next group, representing 45% of respondents, said business was improving slowly, but they expected to be able to make some upgrades of people and stuff next year.

So, the good news is, a plurality — 65% of respondents — were feeling at least some reason to be optimistic about
the future. The bad news is that more than one-third of respondents were still in bad shape, including 11% who are still experiencing a decline in business.

I’ll leave you with two thoughts that you’ve heard me say before: 1) This recovery has been rated by me as an “M” recovery, which stands for marathon; 2) Take a hard look at yourself and your organization to see of any failure to execute might be coming from within. You might need help from an outside observer to accomplish this step. Good luck.

Thanks for being part of my community. I’ll see you on the radio - and on the Internet.

To participate in the current poll question, visit www.smallbusinessadvocate.com and vote.

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

Brick and Mortar Move Over

Our most recent poll question in the Newsletter and on our website was about e-commerce. We asked this question: How much of your small business’ annual sales revenue comes from online sales? Here’s what our respondents said:

  • Five percent of respondents said online sales represented 100% of their revenue.
  • Fourteen percent said more than half of their sales came from the Internet.
  • A little more than 50% of respondents said online sales counted for less than half of total   revenue.
  • And about one fourth said they had no online sales.

In terms of the Internet age, e-commerce has been around for a big chunk of that period. But compared to the traditional marketplace, the practice of selling online is still in its infancy. So I’m actually quite pleased with the response mix we got, especially that 75% of our participants are producing some sales through e-commerce.  I’ll have more to say, including some research on this subject, next week.

To participate in next week’s poll question, visit www.smallbusinessadvocate.com and vote.

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