After enduring the Great Recession, many — but, by no means all — entrepreneurs have done better the last couple of years. So, how are they feeling as we enter further into 2015?
As Leigh Buchanan reports for Inc., the leading publication devoted to entrepreneurs, as well small and fast-growing firms:
“Entrepreneurs, optimistic by nature, are particularly — indeed, almost giddily — enthusiastic. Our second annual State of Small Business survey finds their collective confidence up sharply from last year. While they do have concerns — about health care costs, political gridlock, and regulation — most seem to share the sentiments of J. Schwan, CEO of Solstice Mobile in Chicago, who says, ‘It would take something pretty significant to inhibit the growth we’ve been experiencing.'”
“The percentage of respondents who describe themselves as ‘very confident’ about the economy’s prospects over the next 12 months has almost tripled, from just under 10 percent last year to 26 percent this year. The number who say they have little confidence that the economy will be strong has dropped by more than half.”
“Survey respondents, drawn from the Inc. 5000 universe of America’s fastest-growing companies, were even more upbeat about the prospects for their own companies, with 57 percent rating them as ‘excellent,’ versus 38 percent [last year]. The percentage who see their company’s 12-month outlook as average or poor fell from 16 percent to just 8 percent.”
Click the image to read more.
We know that many shoppers regularly look for discounts, and typically won’t make many discretionary purchases without them. But, there are also shoppers who often buy without looking for a sale. Through their access to big data, a growing number of firms are learning to better target their discounts.
As Shelly Banjo reports for the Wall Street Journal:
“There’s a growing gap in retailing between those who get discounts and those who don’t. Retailers such as Stage Stores Inc., which runs 880 department stores, including the Bealls and Goody’s chains, are starting to pare back the promotions by showing them only to customers who respond to price reductions. At the other end of the spectrum, Stage Stores has shoppers who are more interested in nabbing the newest styles in shoes and handbags than in sniffing out bargains. Stage Stores rarely advertises clearance sales to them.”
“After years of collecting data, retailers have gotten savvier about how to use it. They are trying to maximize full-price sales to fatten profit margins, while using discounts to clear aging inventory and persuade reluctant shoppers to part with their cash. A fifth of online shoppers are considered true ‘discount junkies,’ people who make purchases only when plied with discounts, according to new data from AgilOne Inc., which works with 150 retailers to analyze customers’ purchases and predict their behavior. About 15% of shoppers generally pay full price for items and don’t bother searching for sales.”
Click the image to read more of Banjo’s story.
Shoppers such as these at Nordstrom Rack in Schaumburg, Illinois, look for bargains. However, discounts don’t excite all shoppers. Photo: Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press