SOURCE: Manta

Manta

January 15, 2014 09:00 ET

Small Businesses Start 2014 Healthier and Wealthier

Manta's Small Business Wellness Index Reveals Business Owners' Top Professional and Personal Priorities for the New Year

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwired - Jan 15, 2014) - 2013 proved to be a successful year for small businesses -- 72 percent of business owners say their business flourished in 2013 and in turn, almost half of them report a happier year, according to Manta's End-of-Year Small Business Wellness Index, which polled 1,130 small businesses. Additionally, 83 percent of small business owners say they are optimistic about 2014, up 5 percent from last year.

Personal and Professional Happiness and Health for Small Businesses
The majority of small business owners report a successful 2013 and are optimistic that 2014 will be even better, which translated into more than 40 percent of small business owners saying they ended 2013 happier than 2012. Only 18 percent say they were less happy and that their business negatively impacted their personal life this past year. In addition to overall happiness, when small business owners were asked if business affected their overall health, 65 percent said business had no impact on their personal health in 2013.

"Our end-of-year survey shows that the small business community had a great 2013, and are evaluating, planning and setting goals to make 2014 even better -- both personally and professionally," said Kristy Campbell, director of marketing and communications at Manta, "With almost half of small business owners focusing on amplifying marketing and promotions, we can expect to see more small business owners leveraging techniques that capitalize on their online and offline networks and digital content and distribution strategies."

Top Stress Relievers for Entrepreneurs
According to small business owners, keeping a healthy, happy and harmonious 2013 meant finding stress-relievers through exercise (36 percent), vacation (25 percent), more sleep (14 percent), therapy (2 percent) or other (23 percent).

2014 New Year's Resolutions and Advice
According to the study, small business owners' top New Year's Resolution for their business is finding new ways to promote and market their company (40 percent). Other business-focused New Year's resolutions include improving customer service and garnering new business (21 percent), networking more often (9 percent), launching or enhancing new products or services (14 percent), delegating more to employees (5 percent) and other (11 percent).

While goal setting is an important part of starting the new year, getting the best advice to help ensure goals are met by the end of the year is equally crucial. Small business owners rely on a variety of resources for business advice, including other business owners (27 percent), industry experts (20 percent), customers (16 percent), the Internet (14 percent), friends/family (13 percent) and other sources (10 percent).

In focusing on personal goals for the new year, improving personal health trumped all with over a third (34 percent) resolving to exercise more, maintain a healthier diet and get more sleep. Other personal resolutions include saving more money (19 percent), improving relationships (19 percent) and helping others (15 percent).

"Though I often find myself working around the clock as an entrepreneur, I know it's important to make time for my personal health -- I work out four times a week, watch my diet and make sure to spend time with my family," said Adina Donella, CFO of social news network Israelite International, Inc. "2014 is going to be a big year for my company and with Manta's help marketing my brand, we expect to continue to achieve even more awareness through amplifying our online presence. I consider Manta an extension of my company and a business resource I can rely on."

Tips for Achieving the Best 2014

  • Align Your Personal and Professional Vision: Establish a vision for your business that is aligned with your personal vision this year. Achieve this vision by aligning it with strong goals. Your personal health and professional health impact each other, so it is important for you to maintain both with goal setting.
  • Create Your Own Advisory Board: As a business owner, you don't need to have all the answers and should consider developing your own Small Business Advisory Board. This can be in a more traditional format with knowledgeable experts, or you can create your own virtual boardroom through online forums, reading industry experts' blogs or joining community groups such as Manta Connect.
  • Give and Grow: Giving back to those in your network whether they are employees, other small business owners or loyal customers will help you grow your own network and business. Exchanging business advice, developing strong employees and enhancing your relationship with loyal customers is important and will be the fuel that will make your business thrive.

About the Manta Semi-Annual Wellness Index
Manta polled 1,130 small business owners between Dec. 6, 2013 - Jan. 2, 2014 via an online survey of Manta.com members who have claimed their Manta company page. With a 95 percent confidence level, the margin of error is +/-2.98 percentage points. For more on the Manta 2014 Semi-Annual Small Business Wellness Index, please contact manta (at) highwirepr (dot) com. To access the full survey results, go to http://www.manta.com/media/q4_wellness_index_11514

About Manta
Manta helps small businesses profit, connect and grow through the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business. Millions of people come to Manta each day to buy from, partner with and connect to companies. By joining Manta, small businesses easily harness the power of the Internet. Get visible; grow your business for free at www.manta.com.