Frustration seems to be in the air lately. Everyone is apparently frustrated with what politicians are doing to help small business. Some people think consumers are frustrated with Facebook. And your employees might be frustrated, but there are ways you can help them. Here's a closer look at some of the latest small-business surveys.
Thanks For Nothing
What are small-business owners' political priorities? More than one-third (38 percent) believe politicians should focus on unemployment and job creation as key initiatives, according to the Manta SMB Wellness Index released by Manta, an online community for small business.
But small-business owners are less than satisfied with what politicians are actually doing. In fact, the majority (67 percent) say they're "highly unsatisfied" with the effectiveness of government. And when asked which political party best supports them, 35 percent said "none of them."
But true to the entrepreneurial spirit, small-business owners aren't letting Washington's lackluster performance slow them down. "Despite the challenging economic conditions, our survey found 37 percent of small-business owners expect their profits will increase this year," said Pamela Springer, Manta's president and CEO.
Room For Improvement
Politicians may not be doing anything, but you can do a lot to improve your employees' office life, a recent Staples.com survey found. Conducted in honor of "Improve Your Office Day" (October 4), the survey says more than half of employees gave their office furniture and decor a grade of "C" or lower, and 41 percent grade their office technology "C" or lower. What tops employees' wish lists for improving the workplace?
- Eliminating office politics: 44 percent
- Allowing or encouraging telecommuting: 41 percent
- Upgrading computers and other office technology: 37 percent
- Getting nicer or more comfortable office furniture: 35 percent
- Providing more private work areas and more flexible work hours: tied at 34 percent each
Rumors of "Facebook fatigue" are overstated, according to Marketing in a Digital World, a new survey of small and midsize businesses and consumers by Zoomerang. The study reports that nearly half of the surveyed businesses use social media to market to customers -- of those, the overwhelming majority (86 percent) have Facebook accounts.
The top three favorite Facebook features among both businesses and consumers are photos, messages and status updates. And they also say the most effective tactics for businesses to reach customers are wall posts and direct messages. When it comes to Facebook, it seems like businesses and customers are on the same page. You gotta "like" that.