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2014 Is The Year of Small Business

[ 0 ] Feb. 11, 2014 | SBO Editor

Small business

Small business is a key to the success of our economy and 2014 is the year of small business. A great year of opportunity thanks to new resources that help small business owners create their own boom. “Shopping local” is beginning to take off, too. Consider these statistics on small business:

  • The 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales
  • Small businesses have generated more than 65% of net new jobs since 1995
  • The number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49% since 1982
  • Since 1990, as big business eliminated 4 million jobs, small businesses added 8 million new jobs

The Cloud has Leveled the Playing Field for Small Business

The Cloud is allowing small businesses to leverage their data and act faster than corporations

  • Many small stores are already using cloud-based point of sale systems to track business analytics related to hourly sales, inventory and products
  • Of those, 42% are using real-time analytics to change inventory and sales strategies within 24 hours. 16% are reacting within 6 hours, and 11% within 3 hours

 Small Business

Early adopters of cloud-based point of sale are already seeing benefits

  • Same store sales for small businesses using ShopKeep POS (http://www.shopkeep.com/) increased 20% on average in 2013 over 2012
  • 94% of ShopKeep POS customers are optimistic that their revenues will increase in 2014

BUT there are some challenges -

  • 41% of small businesses are still worried about the stability of the economy
  • 14% are worried about increased local competition, 13% are worried about taxes, 9% are worried about competition from online and 8% are worried about health care
  • 15% have other concerns including staff turnover and pressure to keep revenues stable

Shopping Local Can Make a Big Difference

Small businesses care about local relationships

  • 82% of local store owners believe a combination of great customer service, personal relationships and supporting a local store is what keeps customers coming back, much more so than offers or loyalty programs
  • What small businesses believe keeps customers coming back: great customer service (40%), personal relationships (30%), support for a local store (12%), special offers (3%), loyalty/rewards programs (2%), other factors such as high quality products (12%)

And plan to shift from “Advertising” to directly “Engaging” with their customers using their own tools

  • Many local stores plan to invest in their own marketing assets in 2014
  • 32% plan to invest in social media and 20% plan to invest in email marketing
  • 33% plan to invest in a new or updated website, and 21% plan to invest in e-commerce

Small businesses keep dollars and jobs in the local community

  • Independent retailers re-circulate 48% of their revenue back into the community, compared with 13.6% from chain retailers
  • Independent restaurants re-circulate 65.4% of their revenue back into the community, compared with 34.5% from chain restaurants
  • Small businesses account for around half of GDP and employ about half the workforce
  • Small stores create local jobs and revive local communities, which in turn stabilizes our economy

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Category: Features