With large companies like Amazon drawing more and more consumers in with fast shipping and great prices, many small mom-and-pop operations are worried how mega chains and online giants will affect their small business. This concern is definitely warranted, considering the number of small grocers, hardware shops and electronic stores – to name a few – that have closed their doors due to mega chains offering massive variety and cheaper prices. Never fear, there are many ways you can protect your small business’ future and develop a strategy for growth. Consider the following three tips:
Consumers search the Internet multiple times a day in search of one-of-a-kind products – like those found at a mom-and-pop business. According to a 2017 point-of-sale solutions survey of 1,164 U.S. business owners conducted by Square and Mercury Analytics, e-commerce is growing 23% year-over-year. Even so, 46% of American small businesses do not have a website. If you have yet to take your business online, the following data will reveal the many reasons why you should. Consider the following additional e-commerce trends:
- 51% of Americans prefer to shop online.
- 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their lifetime.
- 67% of millennials and 56% percent of Gen Xers prefer to shop online vs. in-store.
- Millennials and Gen Xers spend at least 6 hours a week shopping online.
- 48 percent of millennials shop on marketplaces, 76 percent at large retail sites, 46 percent on webstores or independent boutiques and 29 percent at category-specific online stores.
- 59% of Baby Boomers shop on marketplaces, 74% at large retailer sites, 42% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 39% at category-specific online stores.
Never underestimate the power of social media when it comes to growing your mom-and-pop business. Social media allows you to start and join the conversation around your business, rather than just promote. Using these platforms, your business can understand and quickly address the needs of its customers. It also provides the opportunity to share business offerings and events, discuss products/services with potential customers and receive instant notifications. Setting aside some time to establish an online strategy and presence can be huge for your small business’ growth.
If your business is incredibly successful, it might be a good time to consider branching out by establishing a second location.Before you do, make sure you know the state of your business’ cash-flow. Even if your business is profitable, it could still be suffering from negative cash-flow. Additional capital will be required to expand to the new location, hire new staff, cover payroll, purchase new equipment, etc. While it can be difficult to find traditional mom and pop businesses funding, there are alternative options out there. For example, consider high-risk specialist First American Merchant and their quick cash solutions.