Putting the question another way, 77% of small-business owners include advertising among the 'problem areas for which goods or services are generally available' and 14% regard cost-effective advertising as a 'critical' problem.
Does this mean most small businesses are up to their ears in agency reviews and advertising-strategy sessions? Not quite. A 1990 survey of Independent Business readers and members of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (which collaborates in publishing the magazine) found that just 15.3% had used the services of an advertising agency during the previous six months while 36.1% had used advertising media.
(Presumably this doesn't include the small businesses that are themselves ad agencies.)
By comparison, 78% had availed themselves of accounting services, 60.1% had used legal services, 25.3% had used computer consultants and 16.1% had used temporary-employee services within the six-month period.
These and other findings about small businesses are compiled in a paperback book called Small Business in America: A Study of a Unique and Expanding Economy, published by Independent Business, based in Westlake Village, Calif.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)