5 key lessons for small business owners in 2023

UPS survey shows how SMBs are thriving in a rapidly changing world
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Small businesses are the cornerstone of the global economy, and UPS is committed to supporting their growth and shared success. Our second annual survey of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) asked more than 4,700 owners in 12 countries what makes their companies resilient – and what challenges still stand in their way.

Here are five tips every SMB owner needs to know:

  • Exports = growth: SMBs that offer products in more countries see revenues grow faster than if they only exported to a few countries or none. In fact, 63% of SMBs that were omnichannel sellers and multimarket exporters reported revenue growth of 5% or more in 2022.
  • Eyeing eCommerce: Small businesses are prioritizing digital sales and boosting online capabilities to reach new customers. In Singapore, for example, 80% of SMBs said they use some type of digital marketplace to sell goods and services.
  • Sustainably smart: SMBs want to know how to make their operations and supply chains better for the planet. The survey reveals that 57% of SMBs in India want to understand how to make their operations greener.
  • Equity shift: In the last year, women opened more businesses than men. And women-owned businesses tend to have more women in management roles. In Indonesia, 73% of female-led firms registered positive revenue growth, up considerably from 56% in 2020.
  • Removing barriers: SMBs need business and government leaders to help resolve trade barriers, infrastructure and internet connectivity issues – all of which make it hard to grow. About 40% of Mexican SMB exporters cited quality internet connections and the cost of international and domestic logistics as barriers.

“This research informs UPS’s efforts to help SMBs thrive – especially when it comes to selling their products internationally,” said Laura Lane, UPS EVP & Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer. “We proudly and consistently advocate for trade policies that empower small businesses, including those that are women- or minority-owned.”

UPS has the tools and know-how that SMBs need to grow their businesses globally. Connect with a UPS logistics expert to learn more.

See how we showed up for these small businesses: 

Survey says: Learn more about what small business owners are telling us in Chile (English, Spanish), India, Indonesia (English, Indonesian), Japan (English, Japanese), Korea, (English, Korean) Malaysia, Mexico (English, Spanish), Phillipines, Signapore, Thailand (English, Thai), USA (English, Spanish), and Vietnam (English, Vietnamese).

To read the full report (in English), please click here.

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