Marketing is top concern for Kansas small businesses, according to report

The top concern for small businesses in Kansas is marketing, according to a report released in January by the Center for Rural Affairs and Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission.

“The Sunflower State – Assessing Our Business Garden: 2017 Kansas Small Business Needs Assessment Results,” is authored by Adrienne Vallejo-Foster, executive director of Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission; and Dena R. Beck, senior project leader and loan specialist of the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project and Rural Investment Corporation.

The authors conducted a survey in spring 2017, gathering information from Kansas small business owners and resource providers to identify strengths and areas that need attention. They received 533 responses, representing 84 percent of counties in Kansas.

“Feedback from people who serve small businesses is an important piece of the puzzle, as they provide valuable insight,” Beck said. “Local lenders and resource providers know what businesses need to be successful, they see the businesses from a community level, and understand the importance of those businesses to the communities and local economies.”

The survey is modeled after a Nebraska Small Business Needs Assessment conducted biennially since 2008. Questions are based on financing, startup needs, current needs, business growth inhibitors, and training and technology needs.

“To ensure business owners are offered the products and services they need, it is imperative to simply ask,” Vallejo-Foster said. “As citizens, large business owners, and business lenders and providers, we need to pay attention to those needs and assist if we want our downtowns, communities, and local economies to thrive.”

For more information and to view “The Sunflower State – Assessing Our Business Garden: 2017 Kansas Small Business Needs Assessment Results,” visit cfra.org/KansasSmallBusinessNeeds.

The authors are both available to present survey results. For a presentation in your community, contact Vallejo-Foster at Adrienne.Foster@ks.gov or 785.296.2161, or Beck at denab@cfra.org or 308.528.0060.

Feature photo: Kansas small business owners and resource providers gave input on financing, marketing, and training needs in spring 2017. The results have been compiled and analyzed in “The Sunflower State – Assessing our Business Garden,” available at cfra.org. | Photo submitted