DES MOINES, Iowa (Feb. 12, 2015) — A new report from online marketing research firm Quester has revealed that 52 percent of small- to mid-size business owners are saving more than $10,000 monthly thanks to lower crude oil prices.
Quester said its research platform was used in a first-of-its-kind study on the impacts lower crude oil prices are having on U.S. small businesses. The study, titled “The Impact of Lower Oil Crude Prices on U.S. Small and Medium Businesses,” reports quantitative data and qualitative conversation pulled from answers from each respondent and includes additional contextual information derived from Quester's linguistic analysis. The company interviewed 150 owners of small businesses between Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 with the objective of answering three questions:
1.) How have fallen crude oil prices impacted their businesses, overall?;
2.) What has the business been able to accomplish as a result of lower crude oil prices that would not have otherwise been realized?; and
3.) What is the outlook for 2015 crude oil prices?
The report, according to Des Moines-based Quester, concluded five key takeaways based on the answers provided by each business owner:
- 77 percent of small business owners realize that crude oil prices have fallen. Of those, 76 percent have been positively impacted.
- The positive impact of lower crude oil prices is realized through greater profits — driven by lower variable expenses and greater consumer spending.
- 52 percent of businesses positively impacted by lower crude oil prices reported they saved more than $10,000 in just one month's time.
“The influx in money has provided a sense of freedom to SMB owners,” Quester said in a press release. “They have been able to save more money for future investment, employee bonuses and raises, or expand their operation.”
However, the company continued, while these business owners “have been positively affected by fallen crude oil prices, there is a group of owners who has not accomplished anything outside of norm (yet) — they are operating as business as usual.”
The 2015 outlook for crude oil prices is mixed among small business owners. Quester noted that those who believe the prices will rise are preparing for that now by saving, while “those who believe the prices will remain the same or fall next year are optimistic for future growth and business expansion.”
To view the research study in its entirety click here.
Tim Hoskins, president of Quester, called lower gasoline prices “a blessing for consumers,” but Quester felt it was important to perform a timely study that shed light on an unreported subject of this national conversation: how lower crude oil have impacted small to mid-size businesses that employ a majority of the workforce.
“What surprised us the most after the study was complete was that a majority of business owners were saving over $10,000 a month on lower oil prices and the real-world benefits that had not just to their employees and business operations but to the overall health of the U.S. economy,” he said.
Quester describes itself as a technology-based marketing research company “specializing in conversation.” It integrates “close-ended questions and moderated, open-ended questions into every study, every design, and for every person.” The firm claims to expose “nuances in research missed through traditional methods.”
Its studies “are designed by researchers, conducted by proprietary artificial intelligence and jointly analyzed by trained linguists and statisticians who bring the full and complete story to life, often through a single phase of research,” the company added.
More information on Quester is available on its website.