SOURCE: VistaPrint


May 16, 2011 09:00 ET

Micro Business Leader Vistaprint Launches "Small Business Happiness Index"

Company Leverages Unique Customer Base to Measure Sentiment, Determine Pulse of Micro Business Health in U.S.

VENLO, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - May 16, 2011) - Vistaprint N.V. (NASDAQ: VPRT), a leading online provider of professional marketing products and services to micro businesses and the home, today announced the launch its "Small Business Happiness Index," a quarterly survey designed to track the pulse of small, micro businesses across the country. The index will gauge the sentiments of small business owners and specifically examine their thoughts on pursuing their own ventures, as opposed to working for someone else. Topics that are also covered include hours worked, customers acquired and projected revenue for the coming year.

Inaugural survey results of over 900 US micro businesses (businesses with between 1-10 employees) showed that the vast majority are feeling happy about working for themselves and the decision to run their own business, despite the sluggish economy. Just over 42 percent described themselves as "very happy" when asked how they felt about running their business and working for themselves. A further 35 percent indicated they were "extremely happy" and wouldn't even consider working for someone else in the near future.

"The results show that individuals within the micro business community are exceedingly happy with their decision to pursue their passions and work for themselves," said Bridget O'Brien, Vistaprint's vice president of marketing communications. "What we've learned about this specific group of small businesses over the past year is that they are passionate, resilient and most importantly, succeeding. While they aren't in a position to hire more full-time help, the majority are on track to make more money and service more customers this year than last. That's incredibly encouraging for the economy as a whole, given we estimate there are more than 25 million micro businesses across the country."

The survey results indicate that the additional hours micro businesses are putting in are paying off. A large portion of respondents (47 percent) are working more hours in 2011 than they did in 2010, but:

  • 46 percent are on track to make more money in 2011 than they did in 2010, with a further 35 percent projecting to make the same amount
  • 56 percent of have more customers now than they did at this time in 2010

Not surprisingly, micro businesses are becoming more sophisticated in their marketing efforts, but many still find that simple referrals are the lifeblood of their ventures. The adoption of social media, which allows businesses to interact directly with their customers and drive referrals, has increased within the group. Some results included:

  • 41 percent of respondents cited referrals as the most effective marketing tactic they have, ahead of direct mail, email marketing or online advertising
  • Only 35 percent said they aren't using any form of social media
  • Of the 65 percent using social media, facebook continues to be the dominant platform with 50 percent identifying it as their most frequently used social media platform, while just over 2 percent cited Twitter as their most frequently used social media platform
  • LinkedIn, a popular networking site, was most frequently used by 7 percent of respondents

"We believe that micro businesses continue to explore social media because of their heavy reliance on referrals; it's a simple and cost-effective way to encourage those types of leads," continued O'Brien. "The essence of social media is that people can talk to and engage with one another about any topic, including businesses and services they have used. It can actually serve as an extremely effective referral engine. For micro businesses this will likely be a powerful marketing tool moving forward, given its potential reach and relatively low cost."

Vistaprint conducts regular surveys with its micro business customer base, which are very small businesses in the United States with between 1-10 employees that primarily work out of their homes and generate less than $100,000 annually in revenues. This online survey was conducted from March 15 to March 31, 2011 with over 1,100 total respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. For more survey results visit here.

While the Small Business Happiness Index offers insight about the sentiments of micro businesses generally, it does not indicate or represent changes in Vistaprint's business results for any period.

About Vistaprint
Vistaprint N.V. (NASDAQ: VPRT) empowers more than 10 million micro businesses and consumers annually with affordable, professional options to make an impression. With a unique business model supported by proprietary technologies, high-volume production facilities, and direct marketing expertise, Vistaprint offers a wide variety of products and services that micro businesses can use to expand their business. A global company, Vistaprint employs over 2,700 people, operates 24 localized websites globally and ships to more than 130 countries around the world. Vistaprint's broad range of products and services are easy to access online, 24 hours a day at

Vistaprint, the Vistaprint logo and Make an Impression are trademarks of Vistaprint N.V. or its subsidiaries. All other brand and product names appearing on this announcement may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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