A recent survey from digital-marketing company Constant Contact of small business owners revealed their thoughts about the business climate today versus five years ago and also offered insights into what they believe the future holds for the next five years.

With the recent state of the economy, it is no surprise that 59% of respondents believe it is harder to run a business today as opposed to five years ago. Other reasons stated were the constant struggle to keep up with technology and more direct competition, and consumers who are looking for discounts and bargains.

Growing their customer base while simultaneously retaining their existing customers and running their business are the things that small-business owners are most concerned with.

Positive About the Future

While some aspects of running a business are harder today than five years ago, there have also been many positive changes that benefit small businesses. Thirty percent agreed it was easier to reach customers today due to the multitude of affordable marketing tools. Plus, half of the respondents point to the “shop local” movement as a reason why customers are supporting their businesses.

The future looks good as 58 percent of respondents see their businesses flourishing within the next five years, providing them the ability to hire new employees.


Litster, Christopher “What Small Business Owners are Really Thinking About the Future”. Openforum.com. 7/19/2013.

Clifford, Catherine “Small-Business Owners: Working Harder, But Optimistic”. Entrepreneur.com. 6/17/2013.