In honor of National Small Business Week, Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific is showing its support for these great companies and putting a spotlight on the challenges they face. More than half of the American workforce is employed by a small business, and these businesses create two out of every three jobs every year. With National Small Business Week running until Saturday, it’s a great time to recognize smaller businesses in our area.
Locally, BBB Northwest + Pacific serves more than 1.4 million small businesses, with more than 17,000 of those companies earning BBB Accreditation. According to the Small Business Administration, over 55 percent of Idaho’s workforce is employed by a small business. But unfortunately, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that only 20 percent survive past the first year.
While many of us may like the idea of starting our own business, very few of us actually take the plunge. Starting your own company is not only a risk but also a lot of hard work.
One challenge they often face is the high expectations and impatient nature of some buyers. Service, quality and speed of delivery drive the consumer experience. Studies have shown that millennials — the biggest generation in U.S. history — are about to move into their prime spending year. They’ve come of age with all this technology and are the fastest adopters of whatever is new.
Businesses who are unable to appeal to their needs of efficiency could find themselves left behind. For business small and big, the key appears to be improving the customers mobile experience, keeping information on the cloud to try to reduce costs and tracking their customers buying trends with analytic tools.
A poll done by Allstate and USA Today found that 64 percent of small businesses say they are fairing well as trends change. But with the increasing volume of advertising and marketing, they feel it is easy for their message to get lost. So, they are beginning to focus on specialized markets and creating an organic and personal connection with their customers. Social media is a great avenue to help them succeed as it allows them to stream live video and create contests that strengthen customer engagement — all for a low cost.
Small business owners can get tips for helping to run and market their company at BBB’s online magazine Torch Talk, trust-bbb.org/torchtalk. Consumers looking to support a trustworthy small business can find them at BBB.org.
Jeremy Johnson is the eastern Idaho marketplace manager for Better Business Bureau, serving the Northwest and Pacific. Contact her at by emailing jeremy.johnson@thebbb .org.
Jeremy Johnson is the eastern Idaho marketplace manager for Better Business Bureau, serving the Northwest and Pacific. Contact her at by emailing email@example.com.