Mixed news about SMBs, opportunities for their suppliers.
I ran across a recent infographic from the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) that contain good-to-know insights about the state of small businesses in the U.S., with implications for those who market to them. Among the findings:
1. Sales are up
More SMBs grew in 2017 than 2016. Continuing an upward trend, 38% of small businesses ($10 million or less in revenue) reported growth in 2017, vs. 34% in 2016 and 28% the year prior.
2. Sales are still the biggest challenge
Despite consistent revenue growth, the top two challenges for SMBs in 2017 are related to sales. 60% say attracting new customers is their greatest challenge, while 55% cite growing revenue which is often the same thing, especially for smaller SMBs and startups.
3. Falling behind on tech & marketing
Less encouraging are statistics that show too many SMBs are still not poised to compete in today’s hyper-connected, digitally-driven marketplace. With 51% of consumers now preferring to shop online, 74% of SMBs had no eCommerce capability and 29% didn’t even have a website. With platforms like Facebook getting 90% and more of their traffic from mobile, not being mobile friendly (with a modern responsive website, for example) is an additional handicap.
What does this mean for companies that market and sell to SMBs? It means opportunity. We often say that marketing to an SMB audience is less about pitching your product or service than helping them with their most important business challenges. A clear takeaway is that while over a third of small businesses are growing, many more are struggling with revenue and marketing.
In my experience, and as evidenced by the percentage of companies struggling with their web presence, most small businesses are sales driven, often led by the owner. To mirror the changing buyer’s journey, any help you can provide with easy-to-use content on effective marketing strategies will be appreciated. Helping companies with ideas for improving their sales and marketing and positioning your product to address their pain points is sure to create opportunities to show how your product is part of the solution.