Small businesses remain committed to growing their companies by advertising during the recession, according to a report released this week.
Twenty-six percent of the 863 small business owners surveyed by Ad-ology Research, a division of Westerville, Ohio-based sales consulting firm Sales Development Services, expected to spend more on ads, and 60 percent plan to spend the same as in 2008.
Most likely to increase spending were food services, restaurants, and hotels. Retail and automotive were the most likely to slash ad dollars.
Of those that will continue to run ads, they plan to spend the same or more on online advertising, yellow pages, newspapers, and direct mail. The majority don't use new media such as online video, podcasts, or mobile advertising.
While 25 percent of respondents described themselves as fearful and 58 percent as concerned, a majority—83 percent—expect 2009 sales to be the same or more than last year's.
However, the survey was conducted in October, before the NBER declared the recession official. But C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of Ad-ology, doesn't think conditions have changed enough to impact their findings.
He expects small businesses will take the opportunity to get a leg up on their larger competitors. "They're going to invest in their companies as long as they can," he said.
Smith attributes the projections to small business owners' upbeat dispositions.
"To be a small business owner you have to have a more positive attitude," he said.