Skip to Content

News and Events

News Release

Staples Small Business Survey Reveals People Have Become 'Mouse Potatoes' and are 'Deskfasting' Due to Economy

More than One Half of Small Business Owners Are Spending Extra Time on the Computer to Compensate for Economic Challenges

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 6, 2009--Most small business owners and managers are working harder than ever in an effort to overcome the downturn in the economy. According to the 3rd Annual Staples National Small Business Survey (NASDAQ: SPLS), 62 percent of small business owners admitted they were transforming into a 'mouse potato' (i.e. constantly on the computer), with two-thirds eating and working at the same time, and one in five replacing breakfast with "deskfast" in an effort to maximize time.

The survey also revealed that 69 percent of U.S. small-business owners and managers are constantly trying new things to stimulate their business and 47 percent view themselves as 'intrapreneurs' (i.e. an entrepreneur who operates within the corporate structure pursuing innovative projects). Even though the current economic climate is challenging, the majority of those surveyed are confident that they will weather the storm, with 84 percent stating that they will be in business next year in their current form and three-quarters still believing in the 'American Dream.'

"Small businesses are obviously working harder to get through these tough economic times," said John Giusti, vice president of small business marketing. "At Staples, we recognize the challenges our small business customers face today and offer great value on a wide variety of office products and services to make running a small business easy."

The internet poll - which surveyed 300+ small businesses - also revealed small business owners and managers are taking measures to offset the economy's impact. Fifty percent are reducing their own compensation and 38 percent are lowering business travel. Forty-five percent are advertising less with traditional media, while 48 percent are using more viral and word-of-mouth marketing tactics. The majority of those surveyed said they would be willing to forgo vacations and date nights to ensure job stability.

How Staples Makes Things Easy for Small Businesses

Staples makes it easy for small business and home office customers to shop for office products and services. Featuring thousands of products in its retail locations and on, the company offers great savings on core necessities for small businesses such as ink and toner, business machines and innovative Staples brand products. Staples provides additional signature services, including the Staples Copy & Print Center (full-service professional copying and printing services with 100 percent quality guarantee), Easy Tech (technology support, including computer set up and repair, software installation and upgrades), and Easy Rebates (paperless, on-line rebate submission process). The Staples Rewards program currently offers 10 percent back in rewards on ink and toner, case and ream paper and Copy & Print Center purchases.

For complete survey results, please e-mail Jackie Guzman at

About the Survey

The survey was developed by Profile Marketing Research, Tilson Communications and Staples and was conducted by Profile Marketing Research, Inc. of Lake Worth, FL. Profile Marketing Research conducted an online survey among a nationally-representative random sample of 307 owners and executives of American businesses having no more than 20 employees. Margin of error is no greater than 5.6 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence. An additional 102 surveys in Miami, 101 in Houston and 102 in Denver were also conducted. All respondents were members of either the Common Knowledge or e-Rewards online consumer-opinion panels. Interviews were conducted from December 9 to December 12, 2008. For more information about Profile Marketing Research, please go to

About Staples

Staples, the world's largest office products company, is committed to making it easy for customers to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With $27 billion in sales, Staples serves businesses of all sizes and consumers in 27 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In July 2008, Staples acquired Corporate Express, one of the world's leading suppliers of office products to businesses and institutions. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at

CONTACT: Staples
Jackie Guzman, 561-998-1995
Katie Sullivan, 508-253-0879

Source: Staples