Are Sales Still Sluggish?

Are Sales Still Sluggish?

For the past three years, the University of Northern Iowa has conducted a statewide small business survey.  Through an online survey tool, we ask you to tell us about your business experience in terms of sales and capital, employees and growth.

In return, we provide a forum for small business owners in Iowa to speak out on a variety of topics.  What we learn is shared with the legislature, service providers, the media and other business owners to improve the environment for business in Iowa.  Last year small business owners in Iowa had a lot to say.  We recorded dozens of single spaced pages of comments from business owners all over the state!

Out of 980 respondents, you told us about 436 new business starts or business expansions in the state.  This year we hope to see that number climb as the economy comes back.

When asked on a scale of 0 to 4, where 0 was ‘not at all well’ and four was ‘very well’, how well Iowa’s governor and legislature understood and addressed the needs of small businesses/entrepreneurs, you had mean response of 1.74.  They hope to do much better with you this year after enacting more and better small business loan programs and the new IASourcelink portal!

More than 38% of you planned to invest new capital investment into your business during 2012.  We hope to find out how that went and to learn if your company grew in sales or employees.

We also learned that 1:4 of you turned to the regional Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance with both starting and growing a company.  We hope to learn if you are interested in business incubation programs or have visited a Co-work facility like the one in Pella or Cedar Rapids and Des Moines.  

Most of all, we are excited to touch base with you in coming weeks to see how things have shaped up for you during the economic recovery.  Is there a difference between those of you in metropolitan areas as compared to business owners in rural towns like Spencer and Red Oak.  Are you all still having difficulty finding new employees? What do you think of the new IASourcelink site that replaced MyEntre.Net?

Watch your inbox in March for the 2012 Iowa Small Business Survey. This is not just another survey- this is a chance for you to speak out and be heard.  Here is a summary of the 2011 survey of Iowa small business owners.

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