Today we’re kicking off National Small Business Week and in honor of the occasion, we thought we’d celebrate by listing some of the top advantages small retailers have over the goliaths in the industry. Consider this a feel-good small biz post to remind you why you rock:
1. You can provide more personal customer service
Small businesses can interact with customers on a deeper and more personal level. You can actually get to know your regulars and vice versa, and this makes communication easier.
And as a small merchant, you’re in a better position to remember your customers’ names, preferences, and backgrounds, and this in turn helps you provide faster and tailored services and experiences.
2. It’s easier and less expensive to get feedback
While large corporations devote tons of resources on focus groups and surveys to find out what customers are thinking, small business owners can directly ask shoppers for feedback.
Again, since you’re more in touch with your customers, it’s much easier—not to mention less expensive—to get their input. Asking them directly also means that you’re getting first-hand information, which is something that no survey or focus group can match.
3. You can respond and address feedback much faster
Speaking of feedback, small merchants also have the advantage of speed when it comes to acting on shopper input. No need to go through a complicated chain of command when making a change for a customer, if you’re a small merchant, you can likely address their concerns in a quicker and hassle-free way.
4. You can develop products or make changes quickly
It’s easier to make changes to your store or develop product features and lines when you don’t have a lot of corporate red tape to go through.
It’s also less expensive. For instance, if you want to test a new product in your store, you can do so without investing too much of your resources. That way, if the item doesn’t perform well, you can phase it out and not be left sitting on heaps of inventory.
Learn how to use your strengths to your advantage
National Small Business Week (NSBW) has 5 days of learning and networking opportunities in store for you. It brings together small biz owners as well as experts in the space to educate merchants on various issues, including technology, finance, growth, innovation, and more.
NSBW has events taking place in select cities in the US, but the great news is, you can participate no matter where you are. Head over to http://www.sba.gov/nsbw/ to watch live broadcasts of the events.
We highly recommend you tune in for the following:
Making It Big: Small Biz Success in a Mobile World – Presented by Conduit Mobile and the US Small Business Administration, this seminar brings together experts from major tech companies, the public sector and small biz communities to tackle how you can use mobile and digital tools to increase your profits.
Watch it online on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM (EDT)
How Can Technology and Collaboration Drive More Sales for Small Businesses? – Brought to us by PayPal and the SBA, this event will teach you all about the biggest technology trends and best practices you can implement to boost sales and improve operations.
Watch it online on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 from 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT)
Visit the official website of National Small Business Week to learn more about these events and other goodies that the SBA has to offer.
Over to you
Got any plans for National Small Business Week? Tell us all about them in the comments below.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.