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					PPH Small Business Survey 2010                                                        July 2010

The Results




PPH reveals findings from an extensive survey of 360 small businesses – the backbone of the UK
economy – revealing their challenges, opportunities and trends.
CONTENTS
                             The new UK government has realised the need
1 Introduction               for an ‘enterprise-led recovery’, placing the
2/3 Startup 2.0 - How
the internet is taking an    importance of small businesses at the forefront
instrumental role in new
generation startups          of the recent emergency Budget. Here we
4 Interacting in a digital
world
                             reveal the real issues and challenges faced by
5 I.T / Website              this vital sector of the economy.
development
6/7 Flexible working -
growth in freelancing        Results from one of the most extensive surveys ever
8/9 The new freelance        to be conducted in the small business sector, taken
economy                      by 360 of our 70,000+ small business users reveal
10 What still needs to       once again the growing importance of the internet,
change                       technology and the need for more government support
11/12 Appendix               and funding.

                             Almost 1 in 5 small businesses now sell their
                             services/products entirely online while 37%
                             operate entirely virtually connecting with their team
                             and clients solely through the web. Online media and the blogosphere have
                             surpassed traditional media as the main source of news and information for
                             those running small businesses, and social media are now cited by 20% as
                             their main route to market.

                             For new entrants into the space, 70% say it’s now easier than ever to set
                             up a business but only 5% of those say this is due to easier access to
                             funding, with the majority calling for more to be done to help them fund their
                             startups.

                             On the whole there seems to be a growing sense of optimism, with over 60%
                             of respondents planning to increase investment in the next fiscal year and
                             in particular in IT and Web.

                             Small businesses are demonstrating remarkable dexterity in their adoption
                             of new technologies. Their canny use of capital puts the public sector to
                             shame. The average spend on web design services every year is £4373 – one
About PeoplePerHour.com
                             tenth of the public sector’s average spend on similarly trafficked and often
                             less sophisticated websites.
PeoplePerHour.com was
established in 2007 as       For the freelance economy these are great times. An estimated 50% of
a marketplace for small      small businesses now use freelancers at least monthly, with 58% of
businesses to outsource
work to freelancers. The     respondents citing quick access to specialist skills as the principal reason.
site started with a focus    Monthly earnings of the top freelancers on PPH have grown tenfold in the
on Admin and Secretarial     last 12 months, now averaging over £2,000 per month for the most active,
jobs and following its       with 60% revealing that they get repeat business as well.
success quickly grew to
cover over 30 categories
including IT, Web and        We are as proud as ever to be helping the small business and freelance
Programming, Marketing       economy – which collectively accounts for over 60% of UK enterprise
and Sales, Accounting        turnover and employment – prosper in times when it’s most needed.
and Legal and more.

PeoplePerHour.com is
the pioneer and the
leader of small business
outsourcing in the UK.
The site has over 70,000
registered users and
has had over 28,000
projects outsourced in
the last 18 months.                                                      Xenios Thrasyvoulou, CEO, PeoplePerHour.com
                                                                                                                       1
Startup 2.0 – How the internet is taking an
instrumental role in new generation startups

How much of your sales (products / services)
are done online?

  31%

                             19%             18%             17%
                 13%

  <20%          20-50%        >50%            100%         do not sell
                                           - only sell       online
                                             online
                                                                                           22%
                                                                                                            46%
                                                How does this compare
                                                with two years ago?
                                                    Same                              2%
                                                    Now sell more online
                                                    Now sell less online
                                                    Not applicable / do not sell online


Which of the below do
you read the most?                                                                          28%



                 34%

  23%                                        26%


                             10%                             4%
                               Regional
                             newspaper


                                              Specialist
                                            publications
                                            for my trade
     General
   business
publications

                    Online
                 blogs and
               discussions




                                                             Other




                                                                                                       7%


                                                                                            14%             45%
                                          What is the main role of the
                                          Internet in your business?
                                            Selling our products / services online
                                            Marketing / PR: creating a buzz            7%
                                            Getting feedback / customer support
                                            Recruitment / getting jobs done            1%
                                            Client communication
                                            Other

                                                                                                 24%
                                                                                                                  2
      Startup 2.0 – How the internet is taking an
      instrumental role in new generation startups
                    5%
                                      20%
       14%
                                                    How has the internet helped
                                                    your business mostly?
                                                       Cut costs
11%
                                                       Easier access to different skills
                                                       Branding / marketing (raised awareness)
                                             16%
                                                       Research
                                                       Boosted sales
                                                       Other
                                                                                                             5%
                                                                                                                  14%
                    32%
                                            To what extent has technology
                                            and the Internet facilitated home-
                                            working in your business?
                                               Slightly                                    36%
                                               Largely
                                               Completely - enabled my business to
                                               function entirely virtually
                                               Not at all

                                                                                                                   43%
      Which of the following constitute the main changes that
      have occurred within your business in the last two years?

        44%

                     35%                                                 31%
                                               21%
                                  12%                       4%                       11%

       Increase      Increase    Reduction     Increased  Decreased     Changed    Nothing has
      in Internet   of flexible   of in-house investment/ investment/    business    changed
      presence/        hiring       hiring    marketing/ marketing/     strategy
         online                               advertising advertising
        selling


                                                                                                             5%
                                                                                                                   21%
                                                                                                       10%


                                            What is the most common I.T/Web
                                            skill you require for your business?
                                                SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)                                          9%
                                                Ecommerce
                                                Web programming                                  31%
                                                Web design
                                                Application development
                                                Other                                                               20%
                                                                                                                           3
Interacting in a digital world

What kind of online tools do you mostly employ in your business for communication
purposes? (i.e. with freelancers, remote employees, clients, etc)
                           Email

                  Website forms

               Online voice calls

               Online video calls

      Instant messaging / chats

Traditional phone calls, meetings

                                    0            20           40          60          80              100
                                                             Response (%)
                                                                                                  4%        3%
                         Which of the below would you say is the                            7%
                                                                                                                      19%
                         most important to keeping your business
                         relations healthy and up to date?
                            My blackberry / iPhone
                            My email account
                            Social networking (Twitter / Facebook, etc)
                            Skype voice / video calls
                            Instant messaging / online chats


Which of the below do you consider most
important in promoting your business?                                                             64%
Social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc)

                                          Blogosphere

                                           Online Ads

                                        Print / TV Ads

                                        Press releases

                                        Word of mouth

                                                         0        10           20          30           40       50
                                                                         Response (%)
                                                                                                                      18%


                                Do you use Cloud Computing/SaaS
                                (Software as a Service)?
                                                                                    34%
                                    Yes
                                                                                                                              12%
                                    No, but planning to
                                    No, and not planning to
                                    No, but thinking about it / not sure yet
                                    Don’t know what it is


                                                                                                18%                     16%
                                                                                                                               4
  I.T / Website development
                   6%
          6%

 8%
                                                 Approximately how often do you update your website?
                                                     Monthly
                                                     Quarterly
                                                     Yearly
                                                     Almost never
                                                     Not applicable - don’t have a website
18%


                                        59%                                           How much do you invest in your
                                                                                      I.T/Web Development per year?

                                                                             <£1000


                                                                      £1000-£5000


                                                                    £5000-£10,000

                                                                                      0   10         20      30     40   50         60
                                                                                                          Response (%)


  What changes if any are you planning in your
  I.T hiring within the next two years?

                                  38%

                                                             26%
       18%                                                                 19%
                     8%                          1%

      Increasing   Downsizing    Increasing   Decreasing No changes /       Not
       in-house     in-house       use of        use of   don’t know yet applicable
         staff        staff     freelancers   freelancers



                                                                                                              7%


                                                                                                18%
                                      Are you planning on increasing
                                      investment on I.T/Web within 2010?
                                          Yes
                                          No
                                          Don’t know
                                          Not applicable                                       12%


                                                                                                                              61%
                                                                                                                                         5
Flexible working – growth in freelancing

Approximately how often do you use freelancers?
  weekly

 monthly

quarterly

   yearly

   never

             0           5        10          15         20           25         30
                                       Response (%)

                                                                                                         17%
                                                                                                                          29%
                                                         How does this compare
                                                         with two years ago?                      3%
                                                              Same
                                                              I now use freelancers more often
                                                              I now use freelancers less often
                                                              Not applicable / never use them



Which in-house jobs if any are you
                                                                                                         50%
currently filling with freelancers?

  42%


                 24%           24%
                                             15%          15%              13%        11%        6%

 I.T / web       Sales       Marketing /    Writing /       Not       Secretarial /   Other   Accountancy /
                                 PR         editing /    applicable      admin                    legal
                                           translation



                                                                                                              11%   14%

                                    What is the main reason for
                                    your use of freelancers for these                          16%
                                    particular jobs?
                                        Too expensive to hire in-house
                                        I don’t need someone full time for that
                                        Easier to find highly skilled freelancers
                                        Use them for extra workload / filling in the gaps
                                        Not applicable
                                                                                                   22%
                                                                                                                          35%
                                                                                                                                6
Flexible working – growth in freelancing

       7%

18%                28%
                           Do you use freelancers for Web Development
                           and I.T projects for your business?
                             Yes - frequently
                             Yes - sometimes
                             Yes - but rarely
                             No - never
                             Not applicable / don’t need this kind of work done
19%

            26%

                                        If yes, are they in addition to full-time staff?

                                                   Yes


                             No - only use freelancers



                                        Not applicable

       6%
             20%                                         0        10         20         30         40        50
                                                                            Response (%)



                           If yes to the above, why?
                              For extra work - full time staff not enough
                              To boost revenues through further I.T / Web
                     15%      For more specialized jobs - easier to find skilled freelancers
                              Other

 57%

                                             Approximately what percentage of yearly
                                             staff costs are you saving by using I.T
                                             freelancers as opposed to hiring in-house?
                                    <10%

                                  10-20%

                                  20-30%

                                  30-40%

                                  40-50%

                                    >50%

                            Not applicable
                                             0     5         10    15       20     25         30        35   40
                                                                        Response (%)
                                                                                                                  7
The new freelance economy

Do you prefer local freelancers to offshore?
                                   yes


                                        no


                don’t mind either way


not applicable / don’t use freelancers

                                             0        10        20        30        40    50     60
                                                                     Response (%)

                                                                                                      4%
                                                                                                 5%

                                                                                           12%              50%
                     Do you use freelancers for Web Development
                     and I.T projects for your business?
                       Yes - frequently
                       Yes - sometimes
                       Yes - but rarely
                       No - never
                       Not applicable / don’t need this kind of work done
                                                                                           27%


Where do you most commonly
outsource I.T / Web projects to?

non-UK




    UK


         0      10        20       30            40        50        60
                               Response (%)


                                                                                                            30%
                     How would you compare the quality of I.T /
                     Web freelancers to in-house I.T / Web staff?
                       Same quality
                                                                                         45%
                       Better quality
                       Worse quality
                       Not applicable use freelancers for different things



                                                                                                           20%
                                                                                                      3%          8
The new freelance economy

             8%
       3%                    21%

14%
                                        What is the most important criterion in your
                                        decision of allocating the project?
                                           Price
                                           Experience
                                           Feedback
                                           Location
                                           Other




                   52%



                                           Do you try to hire the same freelancer for a
                                           particular type of job each time?

                                               yes


                  sometimes / it depends on the job


                                                no


                                     not applicable

                                                      0       10         20          30      40   50
                                                                              Response (%)



             6%

                            22%
 15%


                                            Why do you prefer to use
                                            PeoplePerHour.com?
                                               Better quality
                                               More local to my business
                                               Site is easier and clearer to use
                                     10%
                                               Cheaper than alternative sites
                                               More reliable




       44%
                                                                                                       9
What still needs to change

Do you believe it is now easier than five
years ago to start a business? If so, why?
yes - easier to sell products /
                services online

yes - easier access to funding

      yes - easier and cheaper
       access to various skills
yes - easier to brand / market
business through the internet

            no - it’s not easier

                                   0   5      10        15      20         25      30       35       40
                                                             Response (%)


                                       1%

                        20%
                                                                      What do you think is still missing to
                                                                      make the start-up process and the
                                                                      evolving of a business easier?
                                                                           Access to funding
                                                                           Good business advice
                                                                           Finding skilled people to hire
                                                                           Other
                  24%

                                                             53%




                                           What in your opinion is still missing
                                           from the freelance community?

                                                                                             56%




                                                               14%
                                                   9%                                                       12%
                                                                                6%

                                               Broader        Quick and       Cheaper        Ways of       Credibility
                                                skills       easy access    freelancers   distinguishing
                                                                                              quality
                                                                                           freelancers
                                                                                                                         10
Appendix

Which industry does your business operate in?
                          I.T
 Marketing & Advertising
                      Other
                   Internet
                     Media
                     Retail
Outsourcing / Offshoring
               Accounting
 Management Consulting
     Telecommunications
         Consumer Goods
              Engineering
     Charity & Non-Profit
Leisure, Travel & Tourism
                 Education
       Financial Services
   Hospital & Healthcare
               Real Estate
       Human Resources
          Import / Export
             Architecture
             Construction
                Hospitality
         Public Relations
                 Transport
                  Banking
      Customer Services
            Entertainment
              Government
                        Law
              Recruitment
          Family Services
                   Utilities
                                0   5     10           15    20
                                        Response (%)


                                                       20%




                  Where is your business based?
                      Uk
                      Non - UK




                                                                  80%




                                                                        11
Appendix

           1% 1% 2%
      2%
 6%                     85%



                                  How many employees
                                  does your business have?
                                  (including directors)
                                    0-9
                                    10-19
                                    20-29
                                    30-39
                                    40-49
                                    50 or more




                      What is your annual turnover?


                          <50K                         49%


                       50K-100K        20%


                      100K-250K   11%


                       250K-1m    11%


                         1m-5m     4%
                                                 20%




                           >5m     2%

                                                             12
For further information
about this report and its
findings please contact:

Xenios Thrasyvoulou on
+44 (0) 207 8355 950

To download a PDF copy
of the report please visit
www.peopleperhour.com/press

Please send any comments
or feedback to
pr@peopleperhour.com

				
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