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Survey: Small biz survival strategy is to stockpile cash

More than half of small business owners (53%) believe that stockpiling cash is the best strategy for sustaining their business through the current economic climate, according to a survey released today by Brother International Corporation. The “Brother Small Business Survey” also found that most small business owners (79%) will strive to make their company more efficient this year.

“Small business owners are feeling extremely anxious about the economy and their business, so they are stockpiling their cash now to help guarantee they can survive the economic downturn and best position themselves for long-term success,” said John Wandishin, senior director, product marketing and marketing communications, Brother International Corporation. “To help cut costs, small business owners are seeking ways to make their business more efficient and one way is through an investment in office supplies and equipment that are reliable and that will give them the best value for their money.”

Efficiency is a key driver for small business owners in 2010. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they plan to make their company—including employees, marketing budgets, and workspace—more efficient.

The survey also revealed the following key findings about small business owners’ reaction to the current economic landscape:

• Small business owners would consider taking drastic and desperate measures to keep hold of their company. In an example of the pressure still felt by many small business owners, 15% say they would give up 10% of their company in exchange for a guarantee that they’d be protected from negative economic effects in 2010.

• The economy has taken a toll on small business owners’ well-being. 51% of small business owners find that their stress level is at the highest it’s ever been, or higher than usual, as a result of the economic climate. Close to half (48%) think about their business while trying to fall asleep.

• Despite the hardships, most small business owners enjoy owning their own business. In fact, 65% believe they put in more hours than if they worked for someone else. However, 50% of small business owners enjoy the flexibility that comes with “being your own boss” and a third (35%) enjoy pursuing their passion.

The survey was conducted among 500 U.S. small business owners by Wakefield Research ( between January 19h and January 27, 2010, via telephone. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.

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