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What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum

What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum
Chris Crum writes for Small Business Resources about what's new for small business. Chris was a featured writer with the iEntry Network of B2B Publications where hundreds of publications linked to his articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.

Brands Most (And Least) Trusted By Small Business Owners

Brands Most (And Least) Trusted By Small Business Owners

Local business owner network Alignable recently released some interesting findings about the brands that small and medium-sized business owners trust the most and those they trust the least. The company's ratings include input from over fifteen thousand small and local business owners in North America across over 80 brands.

The firm unveiled the top ten trusted brands (according to business owners) to be:

10. LinkedIn

9. PayPal

8. Square

7. FedEx

6. Instagram

5. Authorize.net

4. Mailchimp

3. Google

2. Wordpress

1. Amazon

Meanwhile, business owners' ratings indicate that the following are the top ten least trusted brands:

10. Angie's List

9. Groupon

8. Comcast

7. Thumbtack

6. ShipStation

5. Craigslist (for hiring)

4. YP

3. Yext

2. Web.com

1. Yelp

Some entries on both lists are very much expected. Yelp, for example, has been drawing the ire of business owners for years as many have felt that negative reviews have made a drastically negative impact on their businesses. There have also been numerous reports (although never completely proven) that the review site may bury positive reviews for some businesses who don't spend money advertising on Yelp. Such accusations have also prevailed for years, though the company has always vehemently denied this behavior. Regardless of the truth, it's no shock to see Yelp place so highly on the least-trusted list.

Other brands Alignable found to be trending in the least-trusted segment include: Reach Local, Advice Local, Buzz Points, and Pay Simple.

"The consensus is pretty clear on the brands business owners would like to see improve their core value offering," Alignable Chief Marketing Officer Dan Slagen said in a blog post about the findings. "The interesting question surrounding these companies is how they're planning for the future, and there's not always a direct correlation between 'brand perception' vs. profits."

He noted that Comcast's profits have continued to trend upward, while Groupon's have sunk like a rock. Yelp's have fluctuated more, trending upward more recently, sparking question as to whether the company is starting to win over more small business owners.

On the other side of the coin, it's not a surprise to see Amazon ranking highly on the most-trusted list as so many businesses rely on the e-commerce and tech giant not only for merchandise and shipments, but for its web servers and information technology products. Amazon has a pretty stellar track record in both spaces.

It may be a little more surprising to some that Google placed so highly in the most-trusted department. While many businesses rely on Google for a plethora of products and services, and its uptime is top-notch, others have expressed skepticism regarding Google's search and advertising businesses.

Among the other brands Alignable tracks that didn't place on either list are: American Express, Apple, Bigcommerce, Box, DHL, Dropbox, Emma, Facebook, GoDaddy, Lenovo, Microsoft Office, Moz, Salesforce, Shopify, Squarespace, Twitter, UPS, Verizon, Vistaprint, Weebly, Wix, and YP, to name a few.