Small businesses prioritize sales, marketing

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Columbus, Ohio—Small-business owners plan to ramp up their marketing and business-development efforts aggressively this year, according to a new study from online business community Manta Media.

According to Manta's “Pulse of Small Business Survey,”conducted online in December, 77% of the 766 respondents polled plan to spend to expand their businesses this year.

That compares with 85% who reported across-the-board cuts in 2010. Of those who plan to expand their businesses, 47% said marketing and sales are their top budget priority.

Social media, however, remains a questionable marketing channel for small businesses with limited resources. While 42% said they find social media useful to connect with customers, only 14% said they plan to utilize it in the near future.

Even with plans in place to expand business, small-business owners remain cautious: 67% of respondents said that, despite what economic experts say, the recession is not over.

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