Survey finds more than 86 percent of small businesses are optimistic about the future; most common challenges across industries include tax preparation and marketing tactics

Earlier this year, Staples unveiled results from its national survey conducted with small business owners in December of last year. The Staples small business survey found that more than 86 percent of small business owners are optimistic for the future. Of the respondents, four in five identified their business as thriving or surviving in 2018.

“At Staples, we’re a partner for small business owners helping their world work better so they can spend more time on growing their businesses,” said Michelle Bottomley, chief marketing officer, Staples. “When small business owners feel they have the necessary tools, support, and assets to thrive, they’re able to devote more time and attention to what they’re passionate about – providing their customers and clients with exceptional goods and services.”

Among the top small business insights gathered, Staples found:

DISORGANIZATION KILLS PRODUCTIVITY

• 53 percent of thriving/surviving small business owners describe their workplace as very organized, while only 23 percent of struggling/failing small business owners say the same

• One in three business owners believe that workplace disorganization leads to less productivity

• Three in four owners with struggling or failing businesses believe disorganization has affected their company’s productivity

TAX PREPARATION CHALLENGES

• More than half of small business owners view tax preparation as complicated

• Nearly 50 percent of small business owners handle their business’s taxes themselves

• Two in five believe that leaving tax preparation to the last minute causes complications

• Nearly 40 percent are not good with numbers or do not have accounting expertise

PROFESSIONAL MARKETING ADVICE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

• More than one third of thriving business owners face challenges designing effective marketing materials for their business

• Fifty percent do not know how to reach new prospective customers on their own

• Thriving small businesses are more likely than others to use all forms of marketing; 63 percent of thriving small businesses use social media advertising, 59% use online advertising, and 46 percent use print advertising

The small business survey was designed by Staples and conducted online by Critical Mix, among 503 U.S. small businesses owners, from December 26 to December 28, 2017. For the purpose of this survey, small businesses owners were defined as those who had up to 25 full-time employees.

Staples helps the world work better with work solutions that deliver industry-leading products, services and expertise across office supplies, facilities, breakroom, furniture, technology, promotional products, and print and marketing services. The company supports businesses of all sizes from sole-preneurs to the Fortune 100 and everything in between. We meet customers where they are with every-day low prices across multiple channels, including direct sales, e-commerce, mobile, AI-powered “conversational commerce” and retail.

For more small business resources, expert tips, information, and industry advice visit the Staples Back to Work Resource Center at www.staples.com

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