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C. Business Conditions

Instructions

Answer questions as they relate to you. For most answers, check the boxes most applicable to you or fill in the blanks.


Sales


1.

Please select the category that best describes your company's gross sales in YEAR.

Under $25,000

$25,000 to $99,999

$100,000 to $199,999

$200,000 to $499,999

$500,000 to $999,999

$1 million to $2.49 million

$2.5 million to $4.9 million

$5 million to $9.9 million

$10 million to $19.9 million

$20 million to $49.9 million

$50 million to $99.9 million

$100 million or more


2.

Which of the following strategies do you currently use to increase your sales during less busy days and hours?

(Select all that apply.)

Nothing

Advertise

Offer product promotions

Extend days and/or hours of operation

Change product/service offerings and/or mix

Other:


Customers


3.

Please describe the customers that provide most of your revenue (gender, age, income, occupation).

(Provide up to three responses.)


4.

Why do your customers choose you over your competition?

(Provide up to three responses.)


5.

Does your business sell more than 25% of its products directly to distributors or final users outside the United States?

Yes

No


6.

In which countries or regions of the world do you sell products?

(Select all that apply.)

Canada

Mexico

Central America, (not including Mexico)

South America

Western Europe

Eastern Europe

Russia

Africa

China

Japan

Asia, other than China or Japan

Australia

Other:


7.

Do you provide financing for your customers’ purchases?

Yes

No


8.

Which of the following do you use to finance the customer credit?

(Select all that apply.)

Revolving loan from a commercial bank (Acceptance Credit from a commercial bank)

Revolving loan from your supplier (Acceptance Credit from the supplier/wholesaler)

Your business carries the credit

Other:


Competition


9.

Who are your key competitors?

(Provide up to three responses.)


10.

What are one or two reasons that customers might choose your competitors over you?

(Provide up to three responses.)


Marketing


11.

Does your company have a website?

Yes

No


12.

If no, what is your main reason for not marketing over the Internet?

(Select all that apply.)

No Internet access

Slow Internet connection

No IT Support

Cost

Time commitment

Need more information

Other:


13.

If yes, what is your website address?


14.

What are the three (3) types of advertising you use the most?

(Select three.)

Yellow pages

Daily newspaper

Weekly newspaper

Weekly shopper paper

Radio

TV

Billboards

Direct mail advertising

Visitor's guides

Magazines

Brochures/flyers/shopping bags

Other:


15.

What is the main reason for choosing the advertising methods you use?

Market research

Cost

Experience

Other:


16.

Do you share advertising expenses with other businesses for the promotion of your business area?

Yes

No


17.

If you do share advertising expenses please check all the following efforts you support.

(Select all that apply.)

Cooperative advertising

Cooperative coupons

Promotions and special events

Other:


18.

If you don't share advertising expenses, under what circumstances would you consider advertising with other businesses?


Business Hours


External Market Factors


19.

From the list below, please check the top five (5) factors likely to have a major impact on your business during the next 3 years.

(Select five.)

New products

Changing consumer tastes

Demographics

Higher consumer incomes

Defense spending

Foreign competition

Domestic competition

Raw material shortages

Energy costs

Transportation costs

Wage rates

Raw material costs

New technology making older plants obsolete

Financing availability

Taxes/government policies

Other:


20.

Are there any major technological innovations on the horizon in your industry that might affect your firm?

(Select all that apply.)

Computer technology

Low-cost substitutes

Quality control systems

Routinizing production processes

Robotics

Lasers

New materials (that is, alloys, etc.)

Industry-specific innovations

Other:


Other


21.

Please check which of the following best describes your company’s business activity.

We have too much business; capacity is strained

Business activity is just right

We have too little business; excess capacity

Wide seasonal or cyclical variations in demand


General Conditions


22.

Number of customers

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


23.

Sales - Total revenue

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


24.

Profits

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


25.

Employees - Full time

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


26.

Employees - Part time

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


27.

Employees - Year round

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


28.

Employees - Seasonal

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


29.

If any of the business factors increased or decreased, what were the principal reasons for the changes?


30.

Number of customers

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


31.

Sales - Total revenue

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


32.

Profits

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


33.

Employees - Full time

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


34.

Employees - Part time

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


35.

Employees - Year round

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


36.

Employees - Seasonal

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


37.

If you expect any of these business factors to increase or decrease over the next three years, what are the principal reasons for the changes?


38.

What new products or services do you think your customers will want from you in the next three years?


Over the last three (3) years, have the following business factors increased, stayed the same, or declined?

 

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease

39.

Number of customers

40.

Sales - Total revenue

41.

Profits

42.

Employees - Full time

43.

Employees - Part time

44.

Employees - Year round

45.

Employees - Seasonal


Business Conditions follow-up question


46.

If any of the business factors increased or decreased, what were the principal reasons for the changes?


Over the next three (3) years, do you think the following factors for your business will increase, stay the same, or decrease?

 

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease

47.

Number of customers

48.

Sales - Total revenue

49.

Profits

50.

Employees - Full time

51.

Employees - Part time

52.

Employees - Year round

53.

Employees - Seasonal


Business conditions follow (future)


54.

If you expect any of these business factors to increase or decrease over the next three years, what are the principal reasons for the changes?


55.

What new products or services do you think your customers will want from you in the next three years?


Please indicate below your past and projected trends for each category

 

Dramatic decrease (25%+)

Moderate decrease (up to 25%)

No change

Moderate increase (up to 25%)

Dramatic increase (25%+)

56.

Sales trend for the past 3 years

57.

Projected sales for the next 3 years

58.

Sales per employee trend for the past 3 years

59.

Projected sales per employee for the next 3 years

60.

General trend in total cost(s)


Please indicate the level of importance of the following issues for the advancement of your company

 

Critically important

Above average importance

Average importance

Below average importance

Not at all important

61.

Product development/design (e.g. redesign of current products, evaluating new product opportunities)

62.

Information technology/e-business (e.g. Management Information Systems, electronic data exchange, web site development)

63.

Plant operations/manufacturing (e.g. inventory, automation, upgrading machinery and equipment, preventive maintenance)

64.

Waste management/quality (e.g. ISO 14000 certification, energy efficiency, recycling, reducing hazardous waste)

65.

Management systems (e.g. team building, reducing turnover, workforce development, process improvement training)


Change in sales


66.

Have your total sales increased, stayed the same, or decreased over the last three (3) years?

Increased

Stayed the same

Decreased


67.

By what percentage have your sales increased or decreased over the last three (3) years?


68.

Please explain your answer.


69.

Do you expect your total sales to increase, stay the same, or decrease over the next three (3) years?

Increase

Stay the same

Decrease


70.

By what percentage do you think your sales will increase or decrease over the next three (3) years?


71.

Please explain your answer.


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