Small Business Essentials
Today’s world is smaller than ever. With the increasing growth of transportation and communication technologies, less and less separates mankind. This can be seen in all walks of life, from the steady globalization, well, in some cases, the exponential globalization of markets, to the simple ways in which the average person lives their life. Social networks now connect a majority of us, says convinceandconvert.com, to hundreds if not thousands of people that would otherwise be forgotten. The effect of all this connection is that the individual has more power to express and create than ever before. However, if this power is not utilized properly, the individual often fades into the background hum of an ever, louder social landscape. In the business world, this is truer than in any other. The rapid advance of technological processes has the potential to democratize a wide range of markets, from fashion to sports. In other words, the tools of creation and distribution, of learning and of leadership, are now in the hands of the people. And the successful small business owner will be able to manipulate just these tools in order to stand out from the crowd.
Meeting the Customer Halfway
Any small business must compete with a large conglomerate that possesses vast resources, multiple locations, and advertising weight. And while size is certainly an advantage in some areas, the small business can offer personalization and skilled craftsmanship in a way that no big business ever can. The traditional offset comes in at accessibility. Big chains with massive physical locations can afford expensive point of sale technologies, allowing them to process purchases by cash, check, card, and a host of other mediums. However, the classic small business, especially the mobile or work-from-home model, simply lacks the resources to invest in a pricy system. As a result, customers are often lost in the middle. Many would prefer the personal approach of a small business, and even stand at the counter, ready to make a purchase, only to find that cards and checks are not accepted.
Luckily, the new wave is coming. This wave is driven by a host of technologies that equip the small business owner with the full repertoire of tools for inventory and sales transactions. Companies like Shopify are leading the charge with a host of affordable POS options. Among them is a free barcode printer application. The app allows business owners to print labels from home, assigning barcode numbers without the necessity of an expensive hardware purchase.
All of these new advances point to the future, and it is mobile. Whereas the old model of consumerism had customers go to major outlet sites, dependent on city planners for their goods, the new model is one that is specifically tailored to the everyday needs of the everyday citizen. A prime example of this is online shopping. Once derided as a fad, online shopping has established itself as the norm in a majority of households in America. In fact, cmo.com reports that over 70 percent of the Millennnial Generation shops for products online before ever checking them out in person. This astonishing number is evidence of the shift in consumer trends, a shift that will only continue to evolve.
That evolution will continue to bring the multitude of consumer options down to a more and more personal level, and even the biggest businesses will start to accommodate people in this way. That’s where small businesses already have an edge, an edge that they should pursue. Small businesses are already tailored to be personal, to be mobile, and to be friendly. This is exactly the approach that the market, and the next generation, is going for. If small business owners utilize new technologies to their utmost, they will be able to fully cash in on their strengths.
Mobile sales devices are already found in great numbers in the commercial world. As techtarget documents, mobile POS devices include smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices, and their numbers should only keep increasing as processing speed leaps forward while price shrinks. This is good news indeed to the small business owner looking to invest their hard-earned funds in solutions that will continue to increase their customer base. Above all, the effect of devices like barcode printers and tablets is that the finished product looks just as professional as the one from the supermarket-not like something made in a garage. Appearances, while superficial, are extremely important in the business world, and consumers want something that looks good before they even open it. With the new wave of consumer and producer technologies, this sort of modernization will only continue to put the tools of production in the hands of the little guy. The important thing, then, is to be the little guy that knows exactly how they’ll put the new wonders to work.