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SME owners spend more time buying stationery than doing marketing; while one in six prioritise cleaning

1 February 2014 8:00 am

Stretched small and medium business owners are multi-tasking to the extreme and it’s affecting their focus on success. That’s the finding of research released today. Small business owners are taking the brunt by juggling an average of seven different roles on a daily basis.

When asked to list their daily responsibilities, many are prioritising low-level tasks with 35 per cent saying they buy the stationery over more business critical processes such as marketing (32%) and top level business strategy (25%).

Statistics also show that one in five small business owners are helping with office repairs, while 16 per cent get stuck into the cleaning.

The research by Pitney Bowes looked into the marketing habits of over 500 UK small businesses and found that the traditional enemies of SMEs, time (21%), and money (36%), are holding back marketing aspirations.

This is despite 77 per cent of those questioned viewing it as important, while half of these (28%) considered it as very important to the success of their business.

One in five of the businesses questioned professed to have a marketing plan, but most carry out marketing activities on an ad hoc basis (35%) – especially those in micro-businesses of 1-10 employees (45%).

When asked why marketing can fall off the radar, 14 per cent of the UK’s smallest businesses admitted to the discipline being out of their comfort zone, while surprisingly, one in eight larger businesses (51-100 employees) confessed to forgetting about it entirely.

Despite this, one in five businesses questioned want to ramp up marketing activity over the next year.

When it comes to how businesses are marketing themselves, print advertising comes out top (40%) but encouragingly online is not being neglected with email marketing (37%) and Facebook (26%) appearing in the top five most popular methods.

Mobile is also moving up the agenda and whilst just 8 per cent have a mobile optimised website, 49 per cent say mobile is a part of their marketing activity.

Categories: News and Events

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