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.
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.
Independence to make any decision
Not restricted by a rigid schedule
Choosing who to serve and how to serve them
Achieving work and life goals in harmony
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).
Values the ability to give back
Motivated by endless possibilities
Constantly breaking the mold
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.
Risk-averse from fear of failure
Overwhelmed by businessownership duties
Feels lack of respect for businessownership
Uncertain of ability to succeed
Approach obstacles rationally
Seeks to offer something unique
Values small business integrity
Owns the fate of their financial future
Of the four segments, Legacy Builders are the least likely to be utilizing the top four lead generation activities (including referrals, 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.
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.