Small Business Owners Say “Enough is Enough”

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Feeling over-pitched, small business owners say privacy a top concern.

The growth aspirations of many Fortune 500 companies and their shareholders now hang on the once-ignored small business market, which makes up more than 98% of all companies in the United States. The growth of the small business market opportunity means sales people are bombarding Main Street businesses. And small business owners are getting tired of it.

According to a new Warrillow & Co. research study looking at why small business owners recommend some of their suppliers and not others, respecting privacy is now second only to offering products that are easy to use, on a list of the top 12 drivers that cause a small business owner to recommend one of their vendors to a fellow business owner.

“Small business owners have gone from being largely ignored by the Fortune 500, to being the belle of the ball,” says John Warrillow, founder of Warrillow & Co. “They’re getting pitched constantly and now place a higher premium on their privacy than ever before.”

Small business owners’ demands for privacy were discovered in the process of creating “The Warrillow Trust Index,” a research study designed to identify the levers that drive a business owner to refer one of their vendors to a fellow entrepreneur. Warrillow consultants started with a list of more than sixty possible reasons a business owner might recommend one of their vendors to another business owner. Researchers then interviewed a variety of small business owners and were able to short-list the top twelve factors that cause a small business owner to recommend one of their vendors to a fellow small business owner. Finally, Warrillow conducted a quantitative research study of 650 small business owners with fewer than one hundred employees in order to identify the attributes with the highest impact on a business owner’s willingness to recommend a vendor. Privacy is now second only to easy-to-use products on the list of twelve.

“Protecting the privacy of customers is at the foundation of what we do in the card business,” said Bruno Perreault, Senior Vice President of Commercial Solutions at MasterCard International. “Our strict privacy policies are one reason why the card business as an industry performed so well on the Warrillow Trust Index.”

The complete results of the Warrillow Trust Index research will be released at The Warrillow Summit on June 5-7, 2006 in Chicago. The Warrillow Summit is a gathering of 300 Fortune 500 executives with responsibility for marketing to the small business segment.

Warrillow & Co. helps enterprise companies capitalize on the Small & Medium (SMB) market opportunity through the “Warrillow Subscriber Network,” a subscription-based advisory service, which provides best practices research, benchmarking and small business market insight to a membership of enterprise companies.

Media Contact:

Samantha Hicks, Warrillow & Co.

416-368-8279 Ext. 289

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