Small businesses are the life blood of our economy. It’s easy to get caught up looking at the Fortune 500, but at the end of the day, it’s the smaller organizations that keeps our country running. Some wont find this shocking, but here are a few interesting facts about small businesses:
- Responsible for 50% of the GDP
- Make up more than 99% of all employers
- Produce 13-14 times MORE patents per employee than larger firms
- Create 75% of new job growth
The strength of small business is that they are agile. It’s easier for a smaller company to adapt to changing work environments because new ideas are faster and easier to implement. There is less red tape to go through – information is absorbed faster. If a customer is happy or dissatisfied, not only do employees know, but so do the owners. It’s these idea’s that allow small business to thrive, but unfortunately the outlook is grime.
This graph echoes what I’ve heard from a variety of business owners – that things are doom and gloom, and to cut back as much as they can. To not to try anything new to stay afloat. This is really disturbing.
Businesses that play it safe disappear. The customers who want cheaper products will go to a larger store that has better economies of scale and lower margins. The stores that are just average or have no direction have no way to separate themselves from their competition. Scale back what you offer, or even worse, dont change anything at all and not entice loyal customers to keep coming, and you’re a goner.
These businesses have it wrong, because right now is the PERFECT time to grow, to explore, to try something new! Businesses that haven’t reacted are starting to disappear, leaving a lot of customers searching for somewhere else to go. If you aren’t doing anything remarkable, then there is no reason for them to go to you instead of going to the company that is closer or does it cheaper.
Growth doesn’t have to mean dropping thousands of dollars into new IT. There are literally hundreds of ideas out there that businesses can implement that are virtually free. You can give back to the community by donating products, offering educational courses, lectures, or speaking engagements. You can engage your customers more by creating a better experience, whether on your website, in your business, on the phone, or through email. There are a variety of ways that you can engage your customers, and that is the best thing to do right now.
Look for innovations for your business, talk to your employees, your customers, your competitors, talk to as many people as you can, and then do something! Right now is the worst time to tread water. If all you are doing is trying to stay afloat, be ready for a rude awakening when you lose your customers to someone else when things get better. So stand out from the crowd, shake things up!