Most Small Businesses 'Hate' Groupon: Survey Says
Seventy percent of small-business owners hate Groupon, according to a new survey by email and social media marketer iContact. But while Groupon was named "least popular," it had a lot of company: 25 percent of small-business owners hate social media in general.
Most popular was Facebook, loved by 76 percent. Somewhere in the middle, LinkedIn got accolades from 63 percent of the business owners, with professional services businesses and those with 50 or fewer employees being its biggest fans.
Respondents had a love-hate relationship with Twitter -- 54 percent love it but 46 percent hate it. Interestingly, the smallest businesses (those with 25 employees or less) hate Twitter the most, while big corporations (over $100 million in revenues) loved it.
Small-Business Votes Up for Grabs in 2012
Conventional wisdom has it that an overwhelming majority of small-business owners support the Republican party, both with their votes and their donations. But a new survey from Bizo and Vizu (both provide online marketing services to businesses) indicates that is no longer the case -- if it ever really was. The companies measured the general business audience, as well as small-business executives, and found that entrepreneurs were 27 percent more likely than big-business execs to donate to political causes.
Yes, more small-business folks affiliate with the Republicans (36 percent) than with the Democrats (24 percent), but the difference is not as large as most people imagine. Given entrepreneurs' independent nature, perhaps it's not surprising that most small-business execs (40 percent) claim to have no party affiliation (compared to 31 percent of their big-business counterparts). When it comes to big businesses, nearly the same number say they are Republicans (35 percent), as are Democrats (34 percent).
Check's in the Mail?
The tough economy is having an effect on small businesses' receivables. In a recent Rocket Lawyer survey that asked small-business owners about debt, 33 percent admitted that at least 25 percent of their customers are more than 90 days late on payments. What's worse is 25 percent of the businesses report they've had trouble collecting payments, and of those, nearly half (49 percent) wrote off some bad debt this year.
If you're one of these entrepreneurs, you need to get serious about collections. Just 34 percent of companies in the survey called customers whose payments were late, although this is one of the most effective methods for getting late payers to cough it up. Just slightly more than half (53 percent) of businesses were using contracts to protect their interests, with the remainder relying on a "paper trail," verbal agreement or "other." Really -- you think that's going to hold up in small claims court?