Touch Local Release the 2011 Local Business Report

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The Touch Local annual report uncovers valuable poll analysis from UK SMEs and information gathered from regular contact with small business owners.

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Touch Local is the leading voice of UK SME's

The report summarizes the information that thousands of small business owners shared throughout the year, and gives a good overview of the events that influenced small businesses in 2011.

Estimated to employ close to 14 million people, UK SMEs are one of the key engines of Britain’s economy. They are collectively responsible for 59% of private sector employment and nearly half of the total private sector turnover.

Given that the small business community is responsible for approximately half of the UK’s employment and income, it’s vital that these businesses have the opportunity to make their voices heard, and share their views on the ever-changing economy.

Throughout 2011 Touch Local – the leading voice of UK SMEs – conducted weekly polls with business owners, giving them a forum in which they could communicate their opinions about business, economic and general developments that may have an impact on their operation.

These findings were recently published by Touch Local in their annual report – 2011 Local Business Overview and the Road Ahead. The report summarizes the information that thousands of small business owners shared throughout the year, and gives a good overview of the events that influenced small businesses in 2011, such as the release of Budget 2011 and the VAT increase.

Touch Local’s report also looks in to the advertising activities of SMEs throughout the year and includes analysis of some of the trends that will continue to reshape the advertising landscape. Key examples of developments that are covered in the report are the shift towards online marketing versus print advertising and the emergence of Social Media as a medium that allows businesses to connect with more potential customers.

Some of the key advertising trends that identified through Touch Local’s surveys include:

  •     95% of UK entrepreneurs believe that by the end of 2012 usage of print directories will drop to zero amongst people below 50 years of age
  •     In 2012 96% are planning to spend more on social media advertising than they did this year and
  •     52% are planning to allocate less on newspaper adverts
  •     93% envisage that they will invest less money in print directory advertising

One of the highlights of the report is a survey that Touch Local conducted with over 1,000 UK entrepreneurs which focused on how they felt about the year ahead. The analysis covers the following topics:

  •     Are SME owners positive about 2012?
  •     Do UK entrepreneurs expect their business and profits to grow?
  •     Is the number of people employed by SMEs likely to grow, or are small business entrepreneurs planning to downsize in 2012?

Click to read the full Touch Local annual report.

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Ivelina Arabadzhieva
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