I remember Logical Position’s first day of business like it was yesterday. We opened our doors on January 4, 2010, and within just a few hours had landed our first customer — a florist from California. For the first year, we were a team of three, which meant there were a lot of late nights and missed events as we nurtured our new business. But, we continued growing, and now, nearly 12 years later, we’re a team of more than 900 insanely talented marketing experts serving 7,100 customers — 80% of which are small businesses (SMBs).
I hold our humble beginnings so close because they remind me of the challenges SMBs face every day. That’s why I don’t hesitate to jump in when SMB customers contact us on weekends or during the holidays. Our work is critical to their success, so it’s not a big deal for me to step away from a dinner or holiday event to help a client fix a problem. Many times it’s the business owner I’m speaking with, and they’ll respond by saying, “Thank you. I know I’m not a big customer for you.” Little do they know that I was in their shoes not so long ago.
America’s Economic Engine
Of course, SMBs aren’t just essential to our company’s continued success. They also play a crucial role in the American economy. According to the Small Business Administration, there are 31.7 million SMBs in the United States, employing 47.1% of the private sector workforce. Together, these small businesses generate 44% of U.S. economic activity each year.
Despite these impressive figures, running an SMB does not guarantee success. Between 1994 – 2018, 67% of new businesses survived two years on average. After 15 years, the survival rate dropped to 25%. However, America’s entrepreneurs are as optimistic as ever because SMBs in the U.S. have doubled since 1982.
Three Ways to Support SMBs
With so many opportunities to succeed and just as many obstacles to overcome, SMBs face both promise and peril. Although lately, the challenges seem to be growing. For nearly two years, the businesses have had to contend with the pandemic, which is easily the most significant challenge they’ve faced in the years since LP opened. More recently, shipping and supply chain constraints have added a new layer of difficulty.
We’re helping our SMB clients face these hurdles by being more visible online. But, there are also plenty of ways the average consumer can help their favorite mom-and-pop shops not only survive but thrive. Here are a few ideas:
Shop Small Business Saturday (and Every Day)
While Amazon and big-box retailers play important roles in our economy, we should all be more thoughtful about where we’re making our purchases. Every year, we set aside the day after Black Friday as Small Business Saturday, which is a time when we can purposefully include SMBs in our holiday shopping. Of course, we should also look for opportunities to patronize small businesses year-round. When we do, we’re making conscious decisions to support our community’s economic health and the livelihoods of our friends and neighbors.
Share the Word About the SMBs You Love
We’re always ready to help SMBs build state-of-the-art digital sales funnels that turn prospects into customers. However, most independent businesses rely on good old fashioned word-of-mouth for their continued success. That’s why when you find an SMB you love, don’t keep it a secret. Share your experience whenever possible, especially by leaving good reviews online. Your recommendation could turn into five, 10, or 20 new customers for your favorite small business, which is a small act that could mean the difference between success and failure.
Consider Paying (a Little) More
Everyone wants to get the best deal possible when shopping, which is why large retailers are so attractive. Unfortunately, small businesses often can’t offer the same discounts as their bigger competitors because they don’t have the same buying power. If you’re always chasing the best deal, you’ll often overlook the small businesses in your community. Instead, consider the other benefits you’ll receive even if you pay a little more out of pocket, like more personalized service and a more pleasant buying experience. Not to mention that by paying a little more, you’re also supporting the health of your local community.
We Succeed When They Succeed
We all benefit when small businesses succeed, and that’s particularly true here at LP. We’re closing in on our 12th anniversary, and all signs point to us continuing to thrive. However, our continued success intertwines with the success of our SMB customers. When they get there, so will we.
Fortunately, we draw inspiration from the passion SMBs bring to their work, pushing us to deliver the best results possible. All the while, I do my best to stay rooted in those early days at LP, so we can serve our clients with the same enthusiasm that California florist received all those years ago.