Small business owners believe (59%) that running a small business is decidedly more difficult than five years ago and most cite the economy (can't help you much there) and the challenges of technology.
This finding comes from a study conducted by Constant Contact Inc (NASDAQ:CTCT), a company that specializes in email and social media marketing, event marketing, and online surveys for small business. The study also reported 84% of those surveyed are using more online marketing tools than five years ago.
Small business has been in focus as this is Small Business Week, June 16-22. Big companies like Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) have initiatives that help cherry-picked small businesses but it's the day-to-day where small business needs a hand with their three legged stool of marketing, accounts, and workforce.
Marketing and Manic Monday
For a small business every day is Manic Monday...there is never a " Wish it was Sunday, Cause that's my fun day, my I don't have to run day." Getting customers in the door is their biggest challenge and e-mail and social media marketing is key—98% now use e-mail marketing and 87% use social media marketing.
Helping small business is big business. After salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) agreed in June to buy ExactTarget Inc (NYSE:ET). Constant Contact and Responsys Inc (NASDAQ:MKTG) are surmised to be the next target of a buyout offer. Wells Fargo analyst Jason Maynard advised clients Constant Contact Inc (NASDAQ:CTCT) is a strategic acquisition for a big buyer. Exact Target which helps Fortune 500 and small businesses with cloud based marketing solutions and is a direct competitor of Constant Contact Inc (NASDAQ:CTCT) had a trailing EBITDA of -$591,000 yet got a 53% premium; compare that to Constant Contact with a trailing EBITDA of $19 million.
Constant Contact is the lowest cost solution for these small businesses. In addition to its marketing services it helps small businesspeople with boot camp classes on marketing their enterprise. In eighteen years the company has grown to 555,000 customers worldwide. Its corporate governance risk is a fairly low 3.
Constant Contact Inc (NASDAQ:CTCT) trades around a 44.40 trailing P/E with a forward P/E of 20.48 and a PEG at 1.03. The company has no debt and cash per share of $3.17.
The small cap stock is down 11.94% over the last year and has a short interest of 17.30% which is decreasing. From its 52 week high of $21.22 last September to a 52 week low of $11.50 this is a volatile stock but the company has a loyal and growing customer base with proven small business need.
A mountain of paperwork
Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) is another company that increases small business efficiency. Known better for its consume tax software, Intuit also has a thriving small business solution division with QuickBooks, DemandForce, Online Payroll, and other workforce and accounting solutions for small business. The Constant Contact Inc (NASDAQ:CTCT) study also reported 27% of the small businesses surveyed are using more automated business solutions.