SOURCE: VistaPrint


February 24, 2011 09:45 ET

Micro Businesses Optimistic About 2011 Outlook

Vistaprint Survey Shows Micro Businesses Will Expand Marketing Spend and Social Media Usage, but Are Hesitant to Hire

VENLO, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - February 24, 2011) -  Micro business owners in the United States are very confident about the prospects for their business in the coming year, with nearly 60% believing they will make more money in 2011 than 2010, according to survey results released by Vistaprint N.V. (NASDAQ: VPRT). But while a majority of micro businesses are optimistic about their future business prospects, many are not yet willing to start hiring, preferring to keep staffing at current levels and in many cases remain a sole proprietorship, rather than expand. 

"Optimism has always been a common theme among small and micro businesses, specifically those with less than 10 employees and revenues under $100,000, and the results of this survey certainly reinforce that," said Bridget O'Brien, vice president of marketing communications at Vistaprint. "We found that 70% of these types of very small and micro businesses believe they are going help to lead the economy back from this recession. And while the vast majority of micro businesses -- nearly 75% -- won't be hiring in 2011, 64% indicated they are planning to spend money to expand their business, specifically around marketing and promotion."

The survey of micro businesses owners was conducted online over a two-week period and explored a number of topics including hiring, spending, work habits, overall attitudes and social media usage in the next year. Results indicated that businesses with less than 10 employees are probably facing different issues than larger small businesses with higher revenues and staffing levels. For example, over 90% of micro businesses did not lay employees off in 2010 as a result of the current recession, a contrast to January's ADP report that cited small businesses with fewer than 50 workers had shed three million jobs in the past three years

Other results of the survey included:

  • Of the micro businesses investing money in their business in 2011, 88% are planning to spend more money on marketing efforts than they did last year. When asked where they would spend those marketing dollars, the most popular answer was "setting up or enhancing a business website."
  • 77% of micro businesses who said they would hire new employees in 2011 indicated that they would be hiring for part-time positions.
  • 34% said they would be expanding their use of social media/networking (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) for their business this year. Another 40% indicated they would begin to explore social media, or maintain their existing social media presence.
  • While 54% didn't have to get a part-time job in addition to running their small business to make ends meet as a result of the economy, 32% said that they have always worked another job in addition to running their business.
  • When asked if they used a tax professional to file a tax return for their small business, 48% said they did. 35% completed a tax return themselves while another 17% said they didn't have to file a return at all for their business. 

"Small businesses vary in size, revenue and demographics, but so do their attitudes, challenges and behaviors when it comes to running a business," O'Brien continued. "Many of the micro businesses we surveyed are still establishing a web presence and determining which marketing methods work best for them, for example. Small businesses with dozens of employees seem to be facing far different challenges. It would be rare to find the owner of a small business with 50 employees that also has a part-time job, which is the case with many micro businesses. But very small and micro businesses are no less important to the economic recovery, both from a hiring and spending perspective. There are an estimated 25 million of them in the United States alone."

All of Vistaprint's previous survey results can be found here or by visiting  

Vistaprint offers a multitude of products and services for both micro businesses and the home. Products include printed options such as checks, postcards, yard signs, and baby shower invitations; promotional apparel like hats and t-shirts; and marketing services such as websites and email marketing.

About the Survey

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 typically generate less than $100,000 annually in revenues. This online survey was conducted from January 23 to February 5, with over 750 respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus 5% at the 95% confidence level. For more survey results visit here

About Vistaprint
Vistaprint N.V. (NASDAQ: VPRT) empowers more than 9 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 120 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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