NEW YORK, May 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hiscox, a specialist insurer that provides U.S. small businesses with the simplest way to purchase customized business insurance online or over the phone, today announced the findings of their RISE Week Austin 2013 Small Business Survey. The survey of 143 small business owners and entrepreneurs found that Austin small businesses are financially stable, have embraced social media for business use, and have their businesses protected against unexpected issues.

"Small business owners in Austin represent an evolving group of entrepreneurs that are getting it right, on everything from startup funding to social media to insurance," said Kevin Kerridge, small business insurance expert for Hiscox USA. "Austin small business owners are ahead of the curve nationally in using social media for their businesses, self-financing and getting insurance protection in place."

Key findings from the survey include:

Social media is a must: As you might expect, Austin small business owners are digitally connected - over 90 percent of local small business owners use social media tools regularly, and nearly 70 percent cited social media as a "must." Only 8 percent stated that they didn't know enough about social media or that it wasn't necessary.

But social media channels and focus vary: 34 percent of small businesses in Austin use social media to engage directly with current or prospective clients; 27 percent for networking; 16 percent to prospect for new business and 18 percent to conduct market research. Only 5 percent of Austin small businesses do not use social media for business purposes. But their websites remained the key marketing channel for 41 percent of Austin small business owners surveyed.

Positive economics: Over 71 percent of small businesses in Austin primarily funded their business with savings, as compared to loans (18%) and crowd funding (11%). Additionally, well over half (59%) of small business owners said they didn't need or search for funding, and 15 percent said finding funding was easy and successful. Only 27 percent said that finding funding was a "nightmare."

Austin small business owners have it covered: In addition to financial stability and proficiency in social media, Austin small businesses have the insurance protection they need. 46 percent of small business owners stated that they were insured for any mistake they make. However, more than 1 in 4 (28%) small business owners stated that they do not have any insurance coverage for their business.

"Having worked with small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the country, I was particularly impressed with Austin's small business community," said Gene Marks, a featured author in Hiscox's Authors Series for Entrepreneurs and a RISE Week Speaker. "It is fantastic to see the financial strength of these business owners, as well as their effective use of social media as a business tool, and I am glad to have been able to share my insights and collaborate with other entrepreneurs as a featured speaker."

Mr. Marks, in addition to being a Hiscox's Authors Series for Entrepreneurs featured author, is an author, small business owner, and a columnist for The New York Times, Forbes, The Huffington Post, and Inc. Magazine. More information on the Authors Series can be found here:

Hiscox specializes in insurance for small business owners, such as professional liability (errors and omissions insurance) and commercial general liability policies customized for a range of fields including IT, consulting, marketing, photography, architecture and engineering, real estate, and beauty and health.

Since launching their ground-breaking online service in 2010, Hiscox has received an average customer service rating of 4.9 out of 5, and 96% of those surveyed would recommend Hiscox.

Notes to Editors:

Access the full RISE Week Austin 2013 Small Business Survey results and read more news from Hiscox Small Business Insurance.

Austin Sentiment Video:

Caption for Video: Hiscox's RISE Week Austin 2013 Man-on-the-Street video provides details on the Austin small business community, with insight directly from small business owners and thought leaders. Learn more about the small business economy, incentives and local support, and the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs.


The Hiscox RISE Week Austin 2013 Small Business Survey polled 143 small business owners and entrepreneurs attending RISE Week Austin 2013 events, between May 12 and 14, 2013.

About Hiscox Small Business Insurance

Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, is headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). Hiscox is the first company in the U.S. to offer insurance for small professional services businesses direct, online, and in real-time. We provide professional liability, general liability and business owner's insurance, underwritten by Chicago-based Hiscox Insurance Company Inc., which is rated 'A' (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. Additional information can be found on the Why Choose Hiscox? page. Coverages are subject to underwriting and may not be available in all states.

Hiscox also provides professional liability, property and specialty insurance to US businesses through US-based brokers. This communication does not constitute a solicitation of business by Hiscox's syndicates at Lloyd's, London.

To learn more about Hiscox Small Business Insurance, visit or speak with a Hiscox licensed advisor at (888) 283-7545 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM EST).

Hunter Hoffmann
(646) 442-8341

Chris Brown (for Hiscox)
(203) 254-1300 ext. 206 

Kate Dillon (for Hiscox)
(203) 254-1300 ext. 115