Small Creative Companies are Poised for Growth in 2013

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FunctionFox survey shows optimism among small creative companies.

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Small Creative Companies Are Poised for Growth in 2013

"2012 seems to have been a year of consolidation for smaller creative companies"

A new study by FunctionFox suggests that small creative companies – design, advertising, public relations, web and marketing communications – are looking forward to a better year in 2013. 94% of small creative businesses surveyed expect to hire new employees or maintain their current staffing levels through the New Year, with the same percentage also anticipating stable or increased revenues.

The FunctionFox Creative Industry Outlook Survey was designed to 'take the pulse’ of creative business executives employing 25 or fewer people, as they prepare for 2013. Respondents were asked to answer questions about expected changes in revenue and staffing, and about the challenges and opportunities they anticipate through the year. This is the fifth year that FunctionFox has conducted this survey of creative professionals.

"2012 seems to have been a year of consolidation for smaller creative companies," said Corina Ludwig, President of FunctionFox. "Company owners made sure they had the right employees in place, and made steady revenue gains despite continuing economic challenges. Now, they are focusing on expansion, scouting for new business opportunities, and concentrating on more focused positioning, to ready themselves for expansion and financial growth in 2013."

Highlights of the 2013 survey (charts available in full survey report):
•63% of firms expect revenue growth in 2013 - up slightly from 2012's 62%.
•95% expect to maintain or increase current staffing levels in 2013.
•Across the continent, small creative companies are expecting a better year in 2013, with every region of the US and Canada expecting to maintain or increase staffing.
•Confidence is highest in Canada and in the northern United States, with southern states still battling the effects of the sluggish economic recovery.

Other highlights: New business acquisition and attaining profitability present the most significant challenges small creative companies anticipate in 2013 - a change from last year, when respondents indicated that finding and keeping the right staff would be most challenging for them. Creative companies are ready to capitalize on a variety of opportunities in the coming year, including expansion, new business, focused positioning, and the opportunities presented by new media and technology.

"Our greatest opportunity for maintenance and growth is within our current client base."

"We're well positioned for bigger clients who are ready to ramp up."

“Companies that had larger budgets that may have been cut may now find that the services of a smaller agency better fit their needs."

"[We’ll be] building and maintaining capacity to go after the bigger, more profitable projects/clients."

FunctionFox deployed the survey between October 18 and December 31, 2013.

189 highly targeted professionals in design, advertising, public relations, web and marketing communications across the U.S. and Canada responded to an invitation to participate sent by email as part of the October 2012 issue of the FunctionFox About Time Newsletter. The invitation was also issued on our homepage and through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Participants completed the survey online. We broke some answers down by region. (For charts, visit FunctionFox Creative Industry Outlook 2013.) For a copy of the full FunctionFox Creative Industry Outlook for 2013 Report, visit

FunctionFox is the leading provider of time and project tracking software for small creative companies. TimeFox, its web-based timesheet and project management software, is the number one ranked time-tracking system in North America. Graphic design, advertising, communications, marketing, multimedia, public relations, and interactive firms all choose TimeFox as their web-based time and project management application. TimeFox is currently used by thousands of customers in Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

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