The awesome guys at Stitches magazine have released the 2011 State of the Industry Report.
Stitches' State of the Industry
Some highlights to note:
Industry Health Rating:
Out of a rating of 1-5, respondents to the industry survey reported an average health rating for the industry in 2010 of 3.2, up from 2.9 reported in 2009 and 3.1 reported in 2008.
Average order value:
The average order value that decorators fulfilled in 2010 was $380, up from $299 in 2009, across an average of 1,060 orders from 201 client accounts.
83% of respondents said the majority of their new business came from referrals. Other sources included company website (26%), organization networks (25%), cold calls (18%), Yellow Pages (17%), search engines (16%) and social network (16%).
Social network savvy:
81% of social network savvy decorators got new business from Facebook. Though, the report states 61% of decorators still do not use social media tools to attract new business.
Owning a professional website is stated a way to attract new business but highlights the problem of building a static website (which I call an online brochure) and never updating it again. The report states “research shows that regularly updated, relevant content makes the difference between a trickle of Web traffic and a solid flow.” The report continues to state “small business owners that update their content more than five times a month had over 300% more traffic on average that those that updated fewer times.”
This reinforces the importances of owning a website platform that is dynamic and easy to update.
I recall a discuss I had with a customer of our product EmbroideryStudio about their online presence (or more to the point, lack of).
They decided they didn’t want to have a stronger online presence as they were concerned their competitors would copy their products and prices.
This can be true. Your competitors will view your site and may even copy your content. I know from personal experience certain blog topics I create coincidentally appear on competitor sites or social network platforms a few days later but I take that as a compliment But this is another topic for another day.