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Dell-Intel Survey of Bay Area Entrepreneurs and Small Business

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New survey research released by Dell and Intel in August 2012 reveals a bright outlook for San Francisco Bay Area startups and small businesses. This survey of Bay Area entrepreneurs and small …

New survey research released by Dell and Intel in August 2012 reveals a bright outlook for San Francisco Bay Area startups and small businesses. This survey of Bay Area entrepreneurs and small businesses covered the following areas: Access to talent and expertise, Access to capital and markets, and Access to technology.

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  • 1. Dell-Intel Survey of Miami Entrepreneurs and Small Business Dell-Intel Survey of Bay Area Entrepreneurs and Small BusinessNew survey research released by Dell and Intel in August 2012 reveals a bright local outlook for San Francisco Bay Areastartups and small businesses. Sources of optimism include a favorable view of the local economy and local supportorganizations and healthy expectations for growth. However, respondents were more skeptical about the improvementto finances when compared to small business owners in Chicago, Miami and Atlanta.Access to Talent and Expertise Most (84%) said access to talent is key to successful growth Just over a quarter of small businesses are looking to hire (27%) Most are neither hiring nor firing (69%) and have stayed the same size or grown over the past three years (78%) Only access to information is seen as more important than talent (92%) Access to expertise (81%) and access to networks (72%) also rank among the top factors seen as most important for successful growth Most view local business networks to be more supportive than national elected officials and national governmentAccess to Capital and Markets 70% regard access to capital as key to their businesses’ successful growth Personal savings is the top source of funding for San Francisco small businesses (29%) followed by bank and credit union loans (23%) 7% of San Francisco respondents reported venture capital as a top source of funding and 3% said angel investors were a primary means of funding Despite seeing more barriers to growth in domestic markets (45%) than abroad (22%), the U.S. is widely seen to offer the greatest growth opportunities (86%) Most do not view access to global markets as key to successful growth (61%) and only 10% see their greatest growth opportunities outside the United StatesAccess to Technology 79% consider access to effective technology key to successful growth Most say technology supports day-to-day operations (59%), but a significant percentage view technology as a strategic asset (33%) Over half (54%) say their technology needs are becoming increasingly complex Less than half (42%) consider dedicated IT staff key to success. To handle IT needs, they either turn to freelance technology specialists (41%) or handle themselves (40%). Nearly half (48%) expect an increase in the number of small businesses investing in technology, rather than hiring, will fuel growth over the next yearSan Francisco Highlights Most San Francisco small businesses say growth is “very important” (61%) but a higher percentage (47%) are focused on long-term growth over near term in comparison in to small businesses in Chicago (43%), Miami (44%) and Atlanta (39%) The majority of San Francisco small businesses are worried about sustaining their success (62%) While just over half expect finances to improve next year (51%), respondents in San Francisco are less optimistic than those in Chicago (63%), Miami (63%) and Atlanta (60%) Most San Francisco respondents are positive about sales outlooks (70%) and growth opportunities (57%), but are overall less optimistic than those in Chicago, Miami and Atlanta Respondents have a positive outlook on domestic matters but few expect improvements to inflation (28%), interest rates (28%) or the global economy (37%) 21% of San Francisco small businesses reduced staff in the last three years, which is more than in Chicago (14%) and Miami (14%) but less than Atlanta (28%) More San Francisco small businesses view acquisition desirable business outcome than those in Chicago, Miami and AtlantaFindings draw from a representative sample of 100 randomly selected small business decision makers from firms withone to 99 employees in the San Francisco metro area. Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) conducted the anonymous online survey duringthe period August 6 – August 9, 2012. The survey margin of error is +/-9.8%.

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