Small business snapshot: More credit cards, less travel

A couple of nuggets from a survey out today by of 305 small business owners:

  • One-third of business owners sampled reported having trouble getting credit for their companies.
  • Credit cards were the most common type of financing used, with 45 percent of business owners sampled using them. That compares to 40 percent using commercial loans or credit lines, 39 percent using their personal assets, and 12 percent using home equity financing.
  • Business owners have already cut costs over the past 12 months, with conference calls and working from home up and business travel way down.
  • Just 16 percent of the sample reported no cost-cutting over the past 12 months. A quarter had laid off at least one employee, and nearly half had cut spending on office supplies.
  • 85 percent of those surveyed took some measure to go green in 2008. The steps they took — most commonly recycling, reducing printouts, and reducing air conditioning use during summer — seem like cost-cutting measures as well.

Nothing really stunning here, but it’s an interesting snapshot. In the sample of 305 US businesses, two thirds had fewer than 25 employees and 41 percent had fewer than five employees.