PROVIDENCE, R.I.--(MOO.COM, the award-winning online printer, in-person networking is more valuable to driving new revenue for small businesses than its online complements. For the approximately 27.5 million small businesses in the United States, this is promising news. Of the small business owners (SBOs) surveyed, nearly half (44%) believe if they were to hand out 100 business cards it would generate $5,000 or more in revenue.)--According to a new survey by
“It is imperative for small business owners to leverage every tool at their disposal. This study supports the idea that face-to-face networking is an anchor for building a thriving business and is complemented by the growing social media platforms available today”
Small business owners clearly see the economic impact of networking, as nearly 90% reported that it has led to “at least some” new business, and nearly one-third said it has brought “a lot” of new business to their company.
“Small business owners never miss a moment to network because they recognize the economic value and potential impact networking can have on their business,” said MOO.COM CEO and founder Richard Moross. “If all of the nearly 27.5 million small business owners in the U.S. used business cards more frequently, they could see additional revenue in the billions of dollars.”
Surprisingly, places like the gym, restaurants, at bars and on airplanes are key networking locations for today’s small business owners. According to the survey, more than one-third (38%) network at a bar or restaurant, nearly one-quarter (23%) at the gym and 17% network on airplanes. Physical appearance (81%) and engaging conversation (88%) are the most impactful aspects of networking in these face-to-face meetings.
For both the general population (67%) and SBOs (78%), a majority agrees that the business card, long thought to be a dying medium, remains a critical component of successful networking with nearly half (48%) giving out more business cards than five years ago. Fully embracing the need for the tangible product, more than two-thirds of entrepreneurs surveyed said business cards were impactful when networking.
“As the world becomes more digital, the impact of the tangible, well-designed business card becomes even more important,” said Moross.
For SBOs surveyed, the impact of using online social networks remains to be seen. Of the respondents, 70% engage in online networking via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but only one-third of SBO’s find social media “very valuable” to their business. One-half of all SBOs don’t list social networks on their business cards.
Among all respondents, traditional methods of follow-up such as email, phone calls and notes remain the standard after making a new business connection, as opposed to just sending a LinkedIn or Facebook invite. Nearly 50% of those surveyed state that email is the best way to follow-up for all respondents. Email (38%) and phone (32%) are the preferred methods for SBOs, with 4% continuing the tradition of sending a handwritten note.
“It is imperative for small business owners to leverage every tool at their disposal. This study supports the idea that face-to-face networking is an anchor for building a thriving business and is complemented by the growing social media platforms available today,” added Moross. “This survey and MOO’s customers tell us that maintaining strong offline and online presences is the key to success in this current economic climate.”
MOO is an award-winning online printer and branding resource that provides a wide range of high-quality, well-designed print products to help small businesses bridge the offline and online worlds.
The full survey can be viewed at www.moo.com/survey.
The survey was conducted by Ipsos Observer between July 30th and August 8th, 2012 on behalf of MOO. For this survey a sample of 1,007 American respondents were interviewed online, targeting consumers and business owners.
MOO is an award-winning online print business that is passionate about great design and the difference it can make to its customers and the world. Launched in 2006, MOO aims to disrupt the $640 billion global print industry by combining the values of professional design with accessibility and reach of the web; making great design available to all. By applying Web 2.0 principles to a 500 year-old market, MOO has become one of the fastest growing print businesses in the world, with triple digit annual growth and a global reach since launch. MOO prints millions of cards a month and has served customers in over 180 countries. MOO also empowers companies of 10 or more employees with MOO Business Services, offering volume discounts and easy order management for entire organizations. For more information, visit www.moo.com