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Community > Business Retention & Expansion > BR&E Tools > Question Bank > Question Bank 3

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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.
  2. 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

  3. Which of the following strategies do you currently use to increase your sales during less busy days and hours?
  4. (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

  5. Please describe the customers that provide most of your revenue (gender, age, income, occupation).
  6. (Provide up to three responses.)

  7. Why do your customers choose you over your competition?
  8. (Provide up to three responses.)

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

    No

  11. In which countries or regions of the world do you sell products?
  12. (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:

  13. Do you provide financing for your customers’ purchases?
  14. Yes

    No

  15. Which of the following do you use to finance the customer credit?
  16. (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

  17. Who are your key competitors?
  18. (Provide up to three responses.)

  19. What are one or two reasons that customers might choose your competitors over you?
  20. (Provide up to three responses.)

    Marketing

  21. Does your company have a website?
  22. Yes

    No

  23. If no, what is your main reason for not marketing over the Internet?
  24. (Select all that apply.)

    No Internet access

    Slow Internet connection

    No IT Support

    Cost

    Time commitment

    Need more information

    Other:

  25. If yes, what is your website address?
  26. What are the three (3) types of advertising you use the most?
  27. (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:

  28. What is the main reason for choosing the advertising methods you use?
  29. Market research

    Cost

    Experience

    Other:

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

    No

  32. If you do share advertising expenses please check all the following efforts you support.
  33. (Select all that apply.)

    Cooperative advertising

    Cooperative coupons

    Promotions and special events

    Other:

  34. If you don't share advertising expenses, under what circumstances would you consider advertising with other businesses?
  35. Business Hours

    External Market Factors

  36. 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.
  37. (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:

  38. Are there any major technological innovations on the horizon in your industry that might affect your firm?
  39. (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

  40. Please check which of the following best describes your company’s business activity.
  41. 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

  42. Number of customers
  43. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  44. Sales – Total revenue
  45. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  46. Profits
  47. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  48. Employees – Full time
  49. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  50. Employees – Part time
  51. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  52. Employees – Year round
  53. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  54. Employees – Seasonal
  55. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  56. If any of the business factors increased or decreased, what were the principal reasons for the changes?
  57. Number of customers
  58. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  59. Sales – Total revenue
  60. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  61. Profits
  62. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  63. Employees – Full time
  64. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  65. Employees – Part time
  66. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  67. Employees – Year round
  68. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  69. Employees – Seasonal
  70. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  71. 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?
  72. What new products or services do you think your customers will want from you in the next three years?
  73. Over the last three (3) years, have the following business factors increased, stayed the same, or declined?

  74. Number of customers
  75. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  76. Sales – Total revenue
  77. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  78. Profits
  79. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  80. Employees – Full time
  81. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  82. Employees – Part time
  83. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  84. Employees – Year round
  85. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  86. Employees – Seasonal
  87. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

    Business Conditions follow-up question

  88. If any of the business factors increased or decreased, what were the principal reasons for the changes?
  89. Over the next three (3) years, do you think the following factors for your business will increase, stay the same, or decrease?

  90. Number of customers
  91. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  92. Sales – Total revenue
  93. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  94. Profits
  95. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  96. Employees – Full time
  97. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  98. Employees – Part time
  99. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  100. Employees – Year round
  101. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  102. Employees – Seasonal
  103. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

    Business conditions follow (future)

  104. 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?
  105. What new products or services do you think your customers will want from you in the next three years?
  106. Please indicate below your past and projected trends for each category

  107. Sales trend for the past 3 years
  108. Dramatic decrease (25%+)

    Moderate decrease (up to 25%)

    No change

    Moderate increase (up to 25%)

    Dramatic increase (25%+)

  109. Projected sales for the next 3 years
  110. Dramatic decrease (25%+)

    Moderate decrease (up to 25%)

    No change

    Moderate increase (up to 25%)

    Dramatic increase (25%+)

  111. Sales per employee trend for the past 3 years
  112. Dramatic decrease (25%+)

    Moderate decrease (up to 25%)

    No change

    Moderate increase (up to 25%)

    Dramatic increase (25%+)

  113. Projected sales per employee for the next 3 years
  114. Dramatic decrease (25%+)

    Moderate decrease (up to 25%)

    No change

    Moderate increase (up to 25%)

    Dramatic increase (25%+)

  115. General trend in total cost(s)
  116. Dramatic decrease (25%+)

    Moderate decrease (up to 25%)

    No change

    Moderate increase (up to 25%)

    Dramatic increase (25%+)

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

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

    Above average importance

    Average importance

    Below average importance

    Not at all important

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

    Above average importance

    Average importance

    Below average importance

    Not at all important

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

    Above average importance

    Average importance

    Below average importance

    Not at all important

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

    Above average importance

    Average importance

    Below average importance

    Not at all important

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

    Above average importance

    Average importance

    Below average importance

    Not at all important

    Change in sales

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

    Stayed the same

    Decreased

  129. By what percentage have your sales increased or decreased over the last three (3) years?
  130. Please explain your answer.
  131. Do you expect your total sales to increase, stay the same, or decrease over the next three (3) years?
  132. Increase

    Stay the same

    Decrease

  133. By what percentage do you think your sales will increase or decrease over the next three (3) years?
  134. Please explain your answer.
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