Area Development
The industrial sector continues to see growth throughout the country, according to ThomasNet's fourth Industry Market Barometer. Forty-five percent of the 3,370 professionals surveyed revealed that they had seen growth over the last six months of 2010. Eighty-eight percent said that they had tremendous confidence in their company's growth in the first half of 2011.

"Successful companies are executing strategies that cultivate existing customer relationships and develop new business opportunities. Our data also shows that they're relying heavily on the Internet to improve the effectiveness of these strategies," said Eileen Markowitz, President, Thomas Industrial Network.

Across the entire country in all industrial sectors, expansion has been taking place with 1.5 times more growth than declines (45 percent versus 18 percent). The primary core strategy that this growth can be attributed to is a focus on customer retention and service, with 78% citing its importance. Other necessary core strategies including pursuing business in new US geographies, increasing their online marketing, and developing new products and services.

The Internet is increasingly becoming an important part of growth. Thirty-five percent of manufacturers and 40% of custom manufacturers revealed that their website contributed to new revenue growth.

The majority of the respondents in this survey are buyers and/or sellers from small businesses with fewer than 100 employees (85%) and less than $10 million in yearly revenue (69%). They represent the makeup of the American industrial economy and present the importance in seeing small companies grow and prosper.