When it comes to dealing with the threat posed by Amazon, small businesses don't have to be the next David hoping to outperform Goliath — if you can't beat the giant, try joining it.
Why? Here's one recently revealed reason: Small-business owners who say that Amazon helps drive customers to their business have more confidence than those who say their business competes with Amazon for customers, according to a new CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey. It's not by a wide margin — 59 percent vs. 56 percent, respectively. And it's also still a relatively small subset of business owners — almost equal proportions of entrepreneurs say their business competes with Amazon for customers (8 percent) or Amazon helps drive customers to their business (7 percent).
Among small-business owners, there's still a general perception about Amazon that tilts to the negative, even if they say it doesn't flow through to their actual business experience. Forty-two percent of small-business owners say Amazon is bad for small businesses, according to the survey, but a large majority (83 percent) say their business is not affected by Amazon.
But there is a notable difference between businesses that consider Amazon a competitor and those that consider it a sales driver when it comes to revenue expectations over the next 12 months.