Healthcare, Marketing Top Small-Biz Hurdles for 2010

January 14, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Brand Metrics | Financial Services | Local & Directories / Small Biz | Staffing

More than one-fourth of American small businesses say that paying for marketing expenses this year will be among their top challenges, according to a recent survey commissioned by CareerBuilder. This concern about marketing expenses is second only to the ever-present angst related to paying for health insurance.?

The study found that while small businesses are cautiously optimistic as they begin the new year, they are still preparing to face some hurdles. When asked what their organization’s top challenges would be for 2010, small businesses cited:

  • Cost of health insurance – 42%
  • Marketing expenses and building awareness – 26%
  • Attracting and hiring top talent – 22%
  • Government regulations – 21%
  • Gaining access to credit – 11%

Trouble Accessing Credit

Even with the economy on the mend, the study found that many small businesses are still feeling the pinch of the recession. About one-third? (34%) of small businesses (organizations with 500 employees or less) do not think or are unsure if their companies will be able to access the credit needed in 2010. Moreover, 15% of small businesses say that an inability to access credit this year will prevent them from adding headcount and, most likely, investing in other things as well.

In terms of past challenges faced, 17% of survey respondents reported they were unable to access the credit needed to support their businesses in 2009, while more than one-fourth (26%) of those companies who could not obtain credit were unable to add employees. On a positive note, of those companies who were able to access credit last year, 73% were able to hire new employees.

“While small businesses were hit hard during this recession, they will play a vital role as the economy bounces back,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “After past recessions, small businesses re-energized the economy by driving innovation and putting people back to work. The majority of small businesses we talked to say they are confident they will not lose their businesses in 2010, and many are hopeful that they will be able to add staff to support their bottom lines and remain competitive.”

About the survey: The survey was conducted online within the US by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 1,481 US small-business employers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over from November 5 – November 23, 200.

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