The One Question We Forgot to Ask!
It looks like we may have set a record of sorts with our most recent survey titled, “Printing & Politics – Your Choice for President.” More than 270 printers responded within 48 hours, the largest number of responses to a survey in the past four years.
“More than 270 printers responded within 48 hours, the largest number of responses to a survey in the past four years.”
Unfortunately, after the survey “hit the streets,” and we were already processing the results, it suddenly dawned on us, especially after seeing the early trends, there was one question we wished we had asked but didn’t. We’ll let you know what that question was near the end of this survey.
Profile of Participants
Following up on previous questions used in recent surveys, we first wanted to get a feel for where printers stood in terms of forecasting sales for the remainder of 2016, especially in light of the current political climate.
First, we asked printers to describe their firm’s projected sales in 2016 as compared to 2015. Approximately 46% of printers told us they thought sales in 2016 would be slightly better than 2015 while an additional 11% said they thought sales would be “much better” than in 2015. See the graph below.
Second, we followed-up our question regarding projected sales with a drop-down menu that attempted to pin-down survey participants to a percent range as to increases or decreases they were expecting. As you can see from the graph below, 43% of our participants are projecting a modest increase of 1-9% in sales for 2016. Approximately 25% of those firms responding are projecting that sales will be “relatively flat” in 2016. Another 20% of respondents are projecting decreases in sales for this year. (See bar chart)
Political Climate Impacting Business?
We asked participants what impact they thought the current political climate would impact their business. This is what they told us:
• Negative Impact – 22.8% believed the current political climate will have a “negative impact” on their business in 2016.
• Little Impact – 42.5% told us they thought the current political climate will have little impact on their business.
• Positive Impact – 8.6% said they thought it would have a positive impact on their business
• Too Early to Tell – 26.1% told us “I just don’t know – it’s too early to tell.”
Self-Described Party Affiliation
We asked printers taking our survey how they perceived themselves in terms of party affiliation and the results left no doubt where most printers stood when it came to affiliations. The chart depicts their answers:
In a follow-up question, we asked “Independents” (the 23.7% from above) who they thought they were more similar to – Republicans or Democrats. Independents told us by a margin of greater than 3:1 that they were more similar and more associated with Republicans than Democrats.
And The Answer is…
While not surprised at the final result, I must admit we were a bit taken back by the sheer numbers in favor of Donald Trump. I suspect that if this poll was conducted among other groups of small business owners and entrepreneurs we would find similar results.
The Question We Failed to Ask!
How many times have you found yourself having just participated in an informal debate or argument only to find yourself a few minutes later wishing you had made one last comment that would have “clinched” the debate or better make your point.
Our question – the question we wish we had asked? We wish our last question, in addition to asking survey participants who they were most inclined to vote for, would have been, “Who do you think will win the November 2016 election?” We suspect that the answers to that question would have been possibly far more revealing about the upcoming election.
In any event, thanks so much for participating in our survey. Many of our surveys are designed to elicit hard numbers, facts and ratios about our industry while others are just for the fun of it, and we hope you enjoyed taking this recent survey.