An overwhelming majority of small business owners plan to spend more money on their businesses in 2011, according to a new survey.

Manta, an online community for promoting and connecting small business, found that 77 percent of the 766 small business owners it polled plan to spend more money in 2011, even though 85 percent reported they implemented across-the-board cuts in 2010. Nearly half (47 percent) have prioritized marketing and sales as their top spend, with 24 percent noting business development as their top priority and 23 percent opting for marketing and advertising. Another 23 percent of the respondents said they couldn’t prioritize expenditures for 2011, given the current state of their business.

More than half of those surveyed are likely to be considering social media in their marketing and advertising plans for 2011. Forty-two percent of the respondents said they find social media useful in connecting with their customers, and 14 percent plan to implement it in the near future.

Thirty percent say they don’t find it useful, and 8 percent say not only is it not useful, they have no plans to use social media in the near future. Six percent said they don’t use social media and don’t think it will ever be useful to connect to their customers.

The survey also queried small business owners about their 2010 expectations and the outcome of those expectations. Fifty-one percent said they had expected business to improve in 2010, with about a third (34 percent) saying their expectations were right. Among the 31 percent of small business owners who thought business in 2010 would be about the same as the previous year, 23 percent said their prediction was right. And for the 18 percent who predicted their business would decline, 15 percent said their fears were correct.

Looking ahead to 2011, 67 percent of those surveyed believe the recession is not over, despite what economic experts say. Manta’s survey reveals a hopeful 19 percent predict the recession will end in 2011.

Health care reform is still on the minds of small business owners. Sixty-two percent said they are still concerned about health care, and 21 percent agreed that “there has been so much written about its impact on small business that I don’t know what to think.”

Thirty-six percent of the small business owners surveyed said they cut their own salary last year. Despite putting less into their wallets, more than half of the respondents (55 percent) said they were giving year-end bonuses to their employees. Thirty two percent of the respondents said they were giving out about the same bonus as 2009, while 17 percent said they would be giving their employees a smaller bonus. Only 6 percent of the owners gave more in 2010, and 45 percent said they never give year-end bonuses.

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