A great thank you to all those of you who took our Small Business Survey 2010. Thanks to your responses we have now put together a PDF of the Survey Results, published as usual on our PPH Economy. A summary of the key results are highlighted below.
The Internet is taking an instrumental role in new generation startups – Small businesses have shown remarkable dexterity in embracing new technologies in order to remain flexible and efficient.
- Almost 1 in 5 small businesses now sell their products/services entirely online whilst 37% operate entirely virtually
- An estimated 50% of small businesses now use freelancers at least monthly, with 58% of respondents citing quick access to specialist skills as the principal reason
- 35% state that an increase in flexible hiring has constituted the main change in their business in the last 2 years
IT/Web development in particular is a sector in which small businesses are focusing on, with the majority now choosing to fill in-house IT/Web roles with highly skilled freelancers.
- 59% of businesses update their website at least monthly
- 61% are planning on increasing their investment on I.T/Web Development within 2010
- 38% are planning on increasing their use of freelancers for I.T/Web development. Only 1% plans to reduce it.
- 31% site Web Design as the most sought out I.T skill required in their business
- 54% of businesses are currently filling in-house IT/web roles with freelancers.
- 30% use IT freelancers in addition to full-time staff, explaining that they use freelancers for more specialized work as it is easier to find highly skilled freelancers.
- 52% prefer to use UK-based freelancers for their I.T as opposed to offshore
Freelance trends: As the flexible working method shifts from a fad to a long term solution for small businesses, experience and quality replace cost as the crucial factors employers are now looking for.
- 1 in 2 small businesses now use freelancers more often compared with 2 years ago
- 58% prefer local freelancers to offshore
- 52% site ‘experience’ as the most important criterion in their decision of allocating their project
- 56% of small businesses believe that what is still missing from the freelance community are ways of distinguishing quality freelancers