More than Half of Small Businesses Make New Year’s Resolutions to Better their Business

WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New Year’s Resolutions are not just for setting personal weight loss goals. According to new survey data from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT), 53 percent of small businesses make New Year’s resolutions every year and 23 percent make them every few years. As for their success rate in keeping their business resolutions: one third (33 percent) say they are successful in keeping them, while 65 percent say they are sometimes successful in keeping them. More than half (53 percent) say keeping business-related resolutions is easier than keeping than personal New Year’s resolutions, while 27 percent say it is harder.

“I think most of us can relate to the treadmill gathering dust in the basement, or the long-abandoned pledge to stop procrastinating, so it’s easy to see why the majority of people surveyed think business-related New Year’s resolutions are easier to keep than personal ones,” said Christopher M. Litster, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Constant Contact. “Business resolutions can be easier to measure, as can the rewards if you stick to them, so I think staying focused on them can feel a bit easier.”

Getting Bigger and Better

What area do these business New Year’s resolutions focus on? Revenue growth and efficiency come in at one and two, respectively:

  • 26 percent Growing annual revenue
  • 18 percent Running my business more efficiently
  • 16 percent Getting more customers/clients
  • 10 percent Creating better planning
  • 10 percent Trying different marketing tactics, like mobile marketing
  • 8 percent Creating a better customer/client experience

Respondents shared some of their specific New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. Among them were:

“To expose my business to potential clients that don’t know what services I offer”
“Contact customers more often”
“To increase social media presence on all levels by 15%”
“Be better at teaching my staff how to provide exceptional customer service, while offering irresistible bargains”
“Run more efficiently. Need to keep costs under better control. Having a better plan/budget in place should help with expenses.”
“Put more resources into the most profitable projects”
“Increase the number of in-store and out-of-store educational seminars to better engage our customer base.”

Resolutions Resulting in Business Success

When asked what resolution they kept in the past that helped their business, replies included:

“Ask for more help”
“Build my team”
“Be more aggressive with social media”
“Blog more frequently”
“Find out what personally motivates my staff”
“Create a marketing plan”
“Drop what isn’t working and move forward”
Dreaming Big Translates to a Bigger Staff and Marketing Spend

When asked what New Year’s resolution they would make for their business if money were no object, the verbatim answers ranged from aggressive (“buy out the competition”), to wishful (“retire”), to downright practical (“get my financial reserves to six months of revenue”). Hiring people was a big theme. From sales staff, to bookkeepers, to administrative assistants, small businesses would like to be in a position to hire and train more staff.

Another running theme of answers to this question was having more money to spend on marketing efforts. Some responses included:

“Conduct a full-on marketing blitz”
“Consistently, efficiently and effectively write blogs, send newsletters, and use social media”
“Hire a marketing/PR firm”
“Hire someone to do all of my marketing and social media marketing for me – and I would spend a boatload of money on advertising of all sorts”
“A new, mobile-optimized, interactive, custom designed website built on a content management platform”
“Advertise regularly and effectively”
“Launch an extensive marketing campaign for the New Year”

About the survey

This Constant Contact-sponsored survey was administered in November of 2013 to 1,305 small business participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council – a research panel of US small businesses recruited from the Constant Contact customer base. This survey is part of an ongoing series about the state of small businesses and the ways they connect with, and grow, their audiences.

About Constant Contact®, Inc.

Constant Contact wrote the book on Engagement Marketing™ – the new marketing success formula that helps small organizations create and grow customer relationships in today’s socially connected world. More than half a million small businesses, nonprofits and associations worldwide use the company’s online marketing tools to generate new customers, repeat business, and referrals through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local deals, digital storefronts, and online surveys. Only Constant Contact offers the proven combination of affordable tools and free KnowHow®, including local seminars, personal coaching and award-winning product support. The company further supports small organizations through its extensive network of consultants/resellers, technology providers, franchises and national associations.

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