Infusionsoft Small Business Market Surveys

2015 Infusionsoft Small Business Sales & Marketing Survey

Overview

A lot of studies about the small business market are based on analyses of demographic data – location, age, education, income, etc. In the end, the results all start to sound the same. For the 2014 Infusionsoft Small Business Market Survey, we challenged the status quo that small businesses can or should be understood based on demographics. We sought a more meaningful understanding of the behaviors, challenges and mindsets of small business owners.

We surveyed nearly 850 American small businesses — half were Infusionsoft customers, half were people who had never used Infusionsoft. We worked with Audience Audit™, a research provider that specializes in attitudinal segmentation, to craft a series of attitudinal questions in order to gain a deeper understanding of the modern small business.

The results were stunning — despite the many similarities in terms of gender, income, company size and more, we found dramatically different opinions about what it means to be a small business owner. We segmented them into four attitudinal—based profiles: Freedom Seekers, Passionate Creators, Struggling Survivors and Legacy Builders.

survey-overview PASSIONATE CREATORS FREEDOM SEEKERS LEGACY BUILDERS STRUGGLING SURVIVORS 23% 25% 24% 28%
Freedom-Seeker

Freedom

Small business owners who are in this category feel that the key benefits of business ownership are control and freedom. They value having the ability to make their own decisions and flexibility in their schedules, working in the environments of their choosing, and having control over their careers.

They also value having the ability to escape from the corporate world and the opportunity to make more money. Freedom Seekers are focused on living the lives they want and having the flexibility to do more of what they love.

Buzzwords

Autonomy

Autonomy

Independence to make any decision

Flexibility

Flexibility

Not restricted by a rigid schedule

Control

Control

Choosing who to serve and how to serve them

Lifestyle

Lifestyle

Achieving work and life goals in harmony

No-Corporate

My way or the highway

More than half of the Freedom Seekers (56%) say they will "absolutely not" work for someone else in a corporate setting in the future.

Solopreneur

They are the most likely (68%) to have no more than one employee besides themselves.

Time-is-money

Time is money

Much more likely to say that reducing the amount of time they have to work is an important goal for them.

Passionate-Creator

Passionate Creators

This segment believes that passion is one of the most important qualities of a small business owner. They are proud of the job-creation engine that small businesses represent, and value having the ability to serve a customer well.

Passionate Creators are interested in creating something unique, making a difference in the world, and driving economic growth. They are dramatically more optimistic than other segments, and the most likely to report that small business ownership has contributed to improvements in their overall attitude, time availability and financial security (versus if they had a corporate job).

Buzzwords

Altrusim

Altrusim

Values the ability to give back

Optimism

Optimism

Motivated by endless possibilities

Creativity

Creativity

Constantly breaking the mold

Service

Service

Customer service is a pillar of success

In it to win it

Most likely to consider a wide range of information helpful for their business. Hungry for information that could help them better understand and serve their customers and grow their business.

Spirit

Entrepreneurial spirit

They are the most likely to consider themselves entrepreneurs, and the most likely to consider a wide range of other business owners entrepreneurs as well. In essence, they're the most generous with the term.

Team

Works in packs

Of the four segments, Passionate Creators are the most likely to: Have 5 or more employees (31%).

Glass

Glass half full

They are also the most optimistic — 71% expect company revenue to be higher than last year.

High-budget

Marketers at heart

Of the four segments, Passionate Creators are the most likely (46%) to spend at least $500 per month on marketing activities.

Social-buzz

Social buzz

They are also the most likely of the four segments to use social media, email, networking or content marketing for lead generation.

Give-back

Giving back

More likely to say that helping other business owners be successful is a key goal for them.

Diverse-toolbox

Diverse toolbox

Most likely to use a wide range of business tools. Far more likely to use customer management tools like CRM, automated marketing and contact management.

Successful

Successful

Most likely to have a business that generated more than $100,000 in 2013. 14% generated over $1 million.

Most likely to say they will generate "much higher" revenue in 2014 (30%).

Education-Programs

Much more likely to rely on entrepreneurship training or educational programs, people they know, seminars, workshops, industry experts, business books and mentors or coaches to help them run their businesses.

Wide-Range-of-Tools

Most likely to consider a wide range of information helpful for their business. Basically, they're hungry for information that could help them better understand and serve their customers and grow their business.

Struggling-Survivor

Struggling Survivors

Buzzwords

Apprehensive

Apprehensive

Risk-averse from fear of failure

Challenged

Challenged

Overwhelmed by businessownership duties

Unappreciated

Unappreciated

Feels lack of respect for businessownership

Concerned

Concerned

Uncertain of ability to succeed

Closing

Of the four segments, Struggling Survivors are the most likely (53%) to have considered closing their business.

Low-Revenue

They are the most likely to anticipate much lower revenue than last year.

Alone

Alone and overwhelmed

They are the most likely to be handling many of their business activities without help from employees or vendors.

No-Respect

Lack of respect

Struggling Survivors are much more likely to say that people generally don’t respect small business ownership as much as they do a corporate job.

Don’t-Value-Giving

They are the least likely to value vendors that focus specifically on small business, or that are active in charity or social good.

Legacy-Builder

Legacy Builders

Buzzwords

Practical

Practical

Approach obstacles rationally

Innovative

Innovative

Seeks to offer something unique

Ethical

Ethical

Values small business integrity

Legacy

Legacy

Owns the fate of their financial future

No-Website

Legacy Builders are the least likely of the four segments to have a website — 45% don’t have a website.

No-Funnel

Among those who do have a website, they are also the least likely to track website analytics (33%).

Marketing averse

Of the four segments, Legacy Builders are the least likely to be utilizing the top four lead generation activities (including referrals, email marketing).

Low-Budget

49% of Legacy Builders spend less than $200 per month on marketing.

No-Social

Less than 50% use social media or email marketing.

Small and local business lover

Legacy Builders are much more likely than others to consider whether a business is locally owned and operated as a key factor in vendor choice.

Family-Help

Most likely to rely on family and friends to help them manage their businesses.

No-Degree

Most likely to be without a college degree (37%).

Tools

They are the least likely to use many business tools. The only one they use even nearly to the same extent as other segments is bookkeeping or accounting software.

No-Information

They are the least likely to consider information about a wide range of topics - using social media for your business, following up with prospects and customers, understanding their ideal customer, and determining when a customer is ready to buy - as helpful to their business.

Reports

All Reports

2015 Infusionsoft Small Business Sales & Marketing Survey

The purpose of this report is to provide deeper insight into the attitudes, behaviors and challenges small businesses face when it comes to sales and marketing.

2014 Infusionsoft Small Business Owner Attitudinal Segmentation Research Report

In this report, we explore the reasons small business owners started their businesses, how they feel about the experience and the challenges they face.