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Outlook and Thoughts

2012

2011

Feel Business Will Grow

68%

64%

Will Not Add Employees

68%

84%

Federal Govt Not

Supportive

40%

44%

Federal Govt Supportive

5%

7%

Cost of Business and Actions Taken

Over 65% of respondents have felt the costs of business increase over the previous 12

months, which is a significant change from the 2011 market survey. Overall 21% of

respondents indicated that year over year costs have remained the same, or actually

decreased.

2011

2010

Costs Have Increased

65%

80%

The major contributors to the increase business costs are

inventory costs – 58.1%

materials and supplies – 55.8%

travel and expenses – 41.1%

marketing – 44.1%

The economic pressures have forced respondents to take a number of actions to offset the

expense increases, including:

Reducing travel – 55.8%

Reduce marketing budget – 47.0%%

Change in the product offerings – 39.7%

Price reduction – 32.3%

Marketing the Business

Overall, 49% of reporting businesses invest less 5%, or less of their annual sales into

marketing and advertising. Nearly 31% however, invest over 10% of their annual sales

into marketing and advertising, with 3% reporting marketing and advertising expenses to

exceed 15% of annual sales.

The three most important tools that respondents consider the most effective in gaining

new customers are:

Word of mouth

Radio

Public Relations