SCORE Small Business Blog

It’s All in the Numbers: 5 Business Strategies That Are Nearly Invisible

Finding the best ways to devise strategies for your business can be tricky. While we can draw from experience, business school models and going on your gut, using market surveys is always a staple in guiding business planning. Survey data can offer great insights for running your business and the trick is to get through the surface statistics and tease out the insights that may lie deep in the numbers.

The 5th Annual Hiscox DNA of an Entrepreneur Survey is no exception and offers real-time insights about entrepreneurs’ business performance, plans, attitudes and lifestyles. The study surveyed 3,000 entrepreneurs with 500 from the United States.

Here are 5 key findings from the study unearthed:

  • Business owners in the Northeast worked on average approximately 5 hours more than those in the West.

Take-Home: If your business is located on the Pacific Coast and you are considering moving your business to the Northeast, this can be an important factor in your decision-making. Spending more time in the office can greatly impact other aspects of your life, such as the amount of time you spend with your family. To better prepare yourself for the move, try researching factors that can impact your business, such as the hours of business of local businesses and clients in the Northeast, and assess the amount of time you can reasonable expect to spend in the office.

  • Business owners from the West spent on average more than twice the amount of time training than those from the Northeast. Of the business owners who invested in training, those from the South focused more on Customer Relations and Sales/Selling Skills than any other region.

Take-Home: For national businesses and franchises, this can provide a new perspective on how you offer training in your company. Is your current policy on training based on geographic region? Is there a trend within your company that suggests more employees engage in training in a particular region? Are there any benefits to varying training opportunities based on the geographic region?

  • Of the customers who made payments later than they were, Government Agencies were the least likely to make late payments while individual consumers were the most likely to make late payments.

Take-Home: Consider your target client based on your cash flow needs. If your business is strapped for cash and needs customers who pay on time, government agencies are a safer bet than sole proprietors.

  • Business owners from the Manufacturing/Engineering sector spent the most time, on average, in training or professional development followed by Financial Services and Business & Professional Services sectors.

Take-Home: If your in the manufacturing business, you can use the findings by asking yourself whether you are spending enough training your staff for professional development and evaluate whether your investment is growing the skills of your employees is comparable to competing firms. If it’s not, you may find higher turnover from employees who are dissatisfied at their professional growth or your competitors may gain market share by investing in and leveraging their current workforce.

  • Business owners in the Financial Services sector reported the greatest growth with 71% of business owners reporting growth in revenue and 63% of business owners reporting growth in profit (of which 17% of businesses reported more than 20% growth).

Take-Home: This is great news if your business is in Financial Services industry and a sign of the recovering economy. You may want to keep an eye out over the next year for signs of similar growth and factor this into your business decisions. If your company has been cutting back on employee benefits since the economic crisis, this growth could offer a chance to reinvest in your workforce or focus on hiring new talent to continue the growth of your firm.

Jennifer ShinFounder and Principal Consultant, 8 Path Solutions LLC
Jennifer is the Founder & Principal Consultant of 8 Path Solutions LLC, a NYC based management consultancy and data science startup that aims to bridge the gap between science, technology and industry and tackle real world challenges. | @8PathSolutions | Facebook |More from Jennifer

// |

Leave a Comment

More Blog Topics