Small businesses have been a popular topic of discussion lately, both on the news and in Congress. According to a recent survey, 88% of Americans view small businesses “favorably,” and 53% view them “very favorably.” The push in recent years to patronize small businesses for holiday shopping resulted in the creation of Small Business Saturday, and this year’s holiday shoppers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at small businesses the day after Black Friday.
The fact that your business is small can bring you a lot of benefits, even in a recovering economy. As opposed to big-box stores, you can adapt more quickly to changing market conditions and provide better customer service, unique products, and community benefits.
You Can Adapt Faster
One of the biggest advantages to being a small business, especially during the holiday season, is your ability to adapt quickly and effectively to changing market conditions or shopping trends, whether that means ordering a quick shipment or making changes to your website – you don’t have to navigate the levels of hierarchy that constitute a large corporation and cause time delays in implementing new ideas and strategies.
When you run a small business, if you see a need, you can react instantly and make a change to your business, your inventory, or your marketing plan at a moment’s notice.
- Remember the shopping craze over Furbies and Tickle-Me-Elmo? While larger businesses are stuck in committees debating the efficacy of adding a fad item to their inventory, you’ve already got the product stocked on your shelves and, soon, flying out the door.
You Can Give Better Customer Service
Another advantage to being small during the holidays: you can offer better customer service than larger retailers or online stores. You and your employees know your product and services inside and out – and you likely also use it yourself. This means your customer service will be more knowledgeable and more personal than that of a larger company with many products and employees.
- This advantage is even more evident during the holidays, when large crowds and greater demand result in overworked retail associates and a marked decrease in customer service at big box stores.
- In contrast to large companies, your small business can be an oasis for shoppers who crave better product information and a calm environment in which to shop.
You Are Unique
Your small business stands out during the holidays by offering greater flexibility and better customer service, as well as by offering unique products and services that shoppers might not find at your larger competitors.
- It’s hard to differentiate from one big box store to another; they offer the same products and generally the same price. Your small business can give customers better deals on products that they can’t find anywhere else.
You Benefit the Community
Just as “Shop Small” has become a popular call to action, so has “Shop Local.” Small businesses are responsible for creating more than 65% of new jobs in the US each year and generate more than 50% of the country’s non-farm GDP, according to the Small Business Administration.
The jobs you create are local, the taxes you pay benefit your local community, and the profits you earn go back into the local community – not lining the pockets of corporate CEOs.
Your small business is poised to benefit from this year’s holiday sales. The “Shop Small, Shop Local” movement is creating a shift from large cookie-cutter retailers to small, local businesses. Concentrate on the ways that your small business outshines the competition and bring customers into your business.
This post was written by Megan Webb-Morgan, a web content writer for ResourceNation. She writes about small business, focusing on topics such as starting a small business.
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