By Paul Pannone
In an ongoing investigation into why small businesses are succumbing to larger, more advanced operators, we didn’t have to go far to understand why. Many small business owners are so wrapped up in the daily challenges of running their business. Most do not have cutting-edge websites and even less have software inventory tracking systems to help decide what’s selling, what’s stagnant and what’s dead. According to experts most do not know if they made money or lost money last quarter; flying by the seat of their pants in most cases.
Is the bubble about to burst for small automotive shops and businesses that haven’t heard about the Internet?
In response to the vanishing small business entrepreneurs the inability or unwillingness to embrace technology was most often identified why larger companies will run away with the ball in the years to come.
According to James Simpson , “The lack of forward motion with mobile, smartphone marketing and more is affecting the failure rates of local jewelry stores, service providers…even pizza operators. In the twelve months ending in in May of this year, more than 25 independent pizza operators went out of business where I live, which national chains grabbed more market share. Not one of them had online/mobile ordering in place while all the national and many regional chains are seeing 10%-!5%+ of sales coming from mobile devices that didn’t exist only 3 years ago. I call on locals and I’m in my late 50′s calling on business owners of all types that are (generally) my age and they’re uninformed, unwilling to take action, afraid of online reviews (Yelp), etc., aren’t optimizing social media out of ignorance and trepidation and the stats say that only 59% of local business has websites (!). Yikes. Your article hit the nail on the head…we’re going to see big, organized and well-funded businesses gaining more ground.
Why does that have to be so when new technologies now allow these local businesses to catch up, jump ahead and to thrive based on their local access to traffic and shopper conversion? I believe they simply don’t have the will to succeed or learn how to change. Sad, but after hundreds of conversations with maybe a dozen or so that really “get it”, I see no other answer.”
In our ongoing investigation we’ve spoken to dozens of small business owners, particularly in the automotive industry, who have no idea of the internet and the (negative) impact it’s having on their business. One small business owner who is into his second generation of business ownership in the New York area– a place where you would think people are current with such matters– revealed how a competitor slandered his business.
“I had no clue what people were talking about when they told me about some of the stories online,” said “Tony“.
According to Tony a nearby competitor was putting people up to writing negative reviews and talking about scenarios that never happened. When we asked why he wasn’t online or why he wasn’t defending himself he shrugged his shoulders and said;
“I don’t know how to do it.”
Similar instances in all parts of the country, including Tucson, AZ, where customers that had a bad experience after getting their transmission serviced were allowed to slander the small business without any rebuttal. The events hurt the company’s reputation and makes it difficult to run by today’s standards.
Even tech-savvy companies say it’s difficult to keep pace with the wild west and often dubious practices of the internet. Cutting Edge DJs in Philadelphia told eWedNewz of their troubles with Yelp and the uphill battled they continue to fight against their bully tactics online.
Christine Boulton explains it this way;
“One of the problems I see with many small businesses is a lack of understanding of social media. They either, as you said, pawn the task off on a low-level employee or try to farm it out to a third-party. It is virtually impossible to do a company’s social media well if you aren’t on-site and in the thick of it. Social media at it’s best comes from the middle of the fray. It is personal and of the moment.”
eWedNewz examines why companies that know they need to get on-board with technology and Social Media chooses to pay a minimum salary to non-experts and then dismisses the results.
Are you up to speed with technology and Social Media?
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