This year April 29 through May 5 is Small Business Week. This may seem like a fairly new concept since the implementation of Small Business Saturday during the holiday season has gained such prominence. However, every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week. This is when the nation recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Although a great number of people don’t often realize how many small businesses there are, in actuality more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and these small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.
American small businesses often have advantages over larger companies. It’s important to recognize them — and make the most of them — as you start or grow your own small business.
Small businesses may not have the buying power of big business, but there are critical reasons why small entrepreneurs succeed and thrive. Here are six characteristics that often give small businesses an edge over bigger competitors:
- Personal Touch – Small business owners have ample opportunities to develop face-to-face, person-to-person relationships with prospects and clients. Leaders of small, local businesses are generally more accessible than those at larger, more broadly dispersed companies.
- Flexibility – Small businesses usually don’t have multiple layers of approval to pass through to adopt ideas and initiatives. They can implement creative ways to serve customers more quickly than many larger businesses.
- Agility – When changes need to be made to fix a process that’s not working well or to meet the challenge of competitive pressures, small businesses can typically act fast. They have fewer employees to communicate with and train for transitions.
- In Touch – Because they often directly interact with customers, small business owners are aware of what their customers need and can recognize how to better serve them.
- Power to Partner – Small business with complementary products or services and/or those located within the same community, can find power in partnering. By partnering to cross-promote each other or offer a pooled solution to customers, they can adeptly expand their expertise, extend their market reach, and enhance their credibility.
- Passion – Small business owners feel closely tied to their businesses and find motivation from within themselves to seek success. That drive and desire can result in exceptional products and services—and customer satisfaction.
As you strive to make your small business successful, remember all that you have going for you. As an entrepreneur, not every day will go as smoothly as you’d like, but realize there are many pluses to being a small business. Keep them in mind not only during the good times, but in the challenging times as well.