Starting your own business in the USA is always exciting. This step opens up new prospects for earnings, communication with people, travel, and most importantly – freedom.
But, despite the range of exciting opportunities, becoming a small business owner means getting involved in a complex system of building a successful business, spending a lot of time and energy on work. After all, the basis of the company’s prosperity is its development and growth. And this can be achieved only under the condition of competent analysis and planning.
So, if you’ve already managed to overcome the Top 5 reasons why you can’t change your life, all you need to become part of American business is up-to-date statistics.
According to the US Small Business Administration, almost half of all workers in the country are engaged in smallbiz. Thus, even if it is a small retail business, together with the others, it has a huge impact on the national economy.
This article contains information about the US business in its small format, as well as basic information from the field of Internet marketing, which has now become more than relevant.
A small business owner can now be very different: from a freelance illustrator to a retail business owner, whose shop is developing rapidly and will be soon a chain store system.
However, most SMEs consist of 1 or 2 people. But despite the small size of the team, such enterprises can be a very lucrative American business. The success of companies is determined by the rapid development of technology, which makes it possible to hire freelance specialists. And it is predicted that by 2020 half of the workers will be freelancers.
PRIMARY TRENDS OF SMALL BUSINESS
If we compare large enterprises with small ones, the contribution of smallbiz to the job creation is much higher. More than 73% of employers are companies with fewer than 10 employees. And this is 1/10 of all private-sector employees.
We are witnessing now a steady growth of small American businesses. According to 2015 data, the growth rate was 7.8%. Of course, prosperous business is something which is never guaranteed, but the main indicators of future trends give hope to many cafes, restaurants and retail business owners.
STARTUP: A RELATIVELY NEW FORM OF US BUSINESS
According to Wikipedia, a startup is a repeatable and scalable business model. The term was first used in Forbes magazine in August 1973. The concept entrenched in the language in the 1990s and became widespread.
Many do not have a clear understanding of what a startup company really is. If we ask you to describe a successful startup business owner, most likely you will say that this is a young, attractive-looking person, with good education and several million dollars.
In fact, the average starting capital today is $10,000. Startup owner can be of different age, gender, education, experience.
AMERICAN BUSINESS FINANCING
Small business financing is the key factor of your activity if your business needs it. And it always does.
If you wonder how much money you should have to open a retail business, it depends on who you ask this question. According to Wells Fargo, in order to become a small business owner, you will need $10,000. As per Kauffman estimates, the amount of startup capital may amount to $80,000. However, keep in mind that smallbiz may need fewer funds, and sometimes you can make it even without extraneous capital. For example, text-related professions, such as a translator or a writer, do not require anything other than a computer, which a novice freelancer already has.
If your business needs financing, there are many options: grants, personal contacts and connections, Business Cash Advance Loan, Merchant Cash Advance or Business Cash Flow Loan provided by ATHC.
When you are just starting to nourish the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, you see many benefits in having a successful business. However, you must have enough money to buy food and pay bills. Therefore, it is important to have an idea of how much you will earn.
According to PayScale, an average American small business owner makes annually about $59K, while most people have an income of $26K-153K. At the same time, geographical location is the main factor determining the income level of American business owner. In cities with a high cost of living, the incomes are higher.
But do not forget that having a prosperous business means working harder in the beginning and earning less than an employee. According to Fundera, 81% of smallbiz owner work at night and 89% work on weekends and holidays. But most love their work. 92% do not regret that they left their previous job and started working for themselves.
AMERICAN BUSINESS SURVIVABILITY
Every small business owner is worried about one thing. This Sword of Damocles is the probability of bankruptcy.
Here are some statistics:
It doesn’t matter what area you work in: online business, bulk or retail business or another domain. A common thing to any small business owner is that the first years of a company’s life are the most difficult. But the longer you work, the more likely you will get a successful business.
What hinders the US business sustainability? One of the main issues is an improper cash flow management. This problem, according to the US Bank, makes it difficult to run a lucrative business in 82% of cases.
At the end of the day, cash flow management is not just about calculating profits and expenses. It is also important to consider the time of receipt of funds and plan the payment of all taxes in advance. To do this, a competent accountant can come to your aid, or you can use one of the modern automation solutions that will help you keep abreast of events.
SMALL BUSINESS OWNER AND THE INTERNET
Probably, there is no person left in your social circle who didn’t buy anything online. The Internet has a huge impact on American business as a whole. Now every smallbiz owner should have a website with basic information. And if it is a retail business, then the website should be as informative and attractive as possible.
Most internet users prefer to shop online. Considering the amount of people who have grew up with the Internet, we can say that the volume of online purchases will only grow.
But still, 46% of small business owners do not have a website, and 35% do not think that their business needs it, because their company is too small. But even the smallest companies can provide potential customers with important information through the website – their contacts.
However, we understand that it is difficult for a beginner to master the Internet world on his own. Nowadays, it’s like walking in a minefield, taking into account cybersecurity, usability, user experience, marketing, etc. There are many experts who are ready to help you in this process.
If your site loads longer than 2 seconds, you may lose users. So, it’s important to have not just a knock-together website. Make sure users like it and fell comfortable when using your website regardless of the gadgets they use.
There are many nuances in communicating with customers through a website. The main ones are:
- Site loading speed. The visitor should not wait longer than 2 seconds. Otherwise, the small business owner will lose ¼ of its potential customers who come to his site.
- The design and usability of the site matters in 88 cases out of a hundred. People will not return to your site if the first impression was negative. And they will not be inclined to trust your offline retail business.
- 85% of Internet users expect the mobile version of a company’s website to be as user-friendly and beautiful as its desktop website. This means they do not forgive errors even when they access the website via smartphones.
- For 57% of customers, a poorly designed mobile version of the site will refrain them from recommending this business to others.
SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS AND E-COMMERCE
For the retail business, the development of the Internet and the use of all its features are strategically important. Even if you have a physical store, you can still increase the number of purchases through your website.
However, you must also remember that placing a product in the basket is not yet a guarantee of the purchase. 68.81% of users may not complete the transaction or they forget about the goods which are already in the basket. The reason for the refusal to complete the transaction may be the ordering process. Perhaps the user does not understand the logic of the actions that he needs to perform on the site.
But do not think that if a person came to the site and didn’t buy anything, it’s not your client. 88% of Internet users must first read the online product review and testimonials before buying it.
AMERICAN BUSINESS AND CYBERSECURITY
It seems that hacker attacks are mainly aimed at business giants, but in real life, the tasty morsels for hackers are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Almost half of all cybercrimes are associated with small businesses, and only few can resist them. Of course, the companies able to spend large sums of money on their security receive the best protection from hackers. However, do not assume that if you have only a small retail business, you are not in danger of hacking.
Symantec and BigCommerce tried to determine the extent of the harm for business in the USA. They learned that it costs only $172 to get unauthorized access to online store data. It is clear now why 60% of lucrative businesses being hacked close six months after the attack.
Therefore, even a small retail business should pay a lot of attention to cybersecurity.
DIGITAL MARKETING IN US BUSINESS
Marketing has always been a means of informing the world about your prosperous business and gaining customers.
But with the change in Internet opportunities, Internet marketing has changed as well. In 76% of cases, a smallbiz owner faces marketing problem. A well-designed online marketing strategy can give you a huge advantage over your competitors. American business today is inextricably linked with the ability of specialists to conduct digital marketing. If you have your own retail business that does not bring the desired results, you may need some professional marketing assistance.
LEAD GENERATION FOR PROSPEROUS BUSINESS
Lead generation is a key task for any marketer. And if small business owners cannot hire such employees, they must become marketers themselves.
In a nutshell, lead generation is attracting people interested in your business and turning them into your customers. They can be attracted by advertising or come organically.
Lead generation is not a simple process, because it involves several ways to attract the attention of customers: emailing, advertising and posting on social networks and so on.
One of the most important tasks is the personification of the message. A letter sent to everyone means a letter sent to no one. Modern realities require that an individual approach be applied toward each client. In conditions of information overload, customers want a more refined service.
Today, there are many tools that help marketers collect data. 70% of enterprises plan or implement marketing automation. This allows them to collect data and predict the customer’s behavior.
But do not panic if the trends of progress have not yet touched your retail business. Regardless of the automation tools, you can still profit from some good content, customer reviews of your products, as well as cooperation with influential people on social networks.
SHOULD A SMALLBIZ OWNER USE MOBILE MARKETING?
Do you know how many people take smartphones with them when they go to the bathroom? No less than 75%. Given the fact that most people access the Internet via smartphones, mobile marketing is extremely important for any small business owner.
60% of searches come from a mobile device.
Any marketing strategy depends on many factors, such as type of business, target audience, etc. At a minimum, you need a website with an interface adapted for mobile devices. In addition, you need to remember that the mobile audience often uses applications. Almost half of all SMEs plan to launch mobile applications.
For many users, the trigger for the purchase will be to receive offers from the store when they are in close proximity to it. And almost all (88%) customers read reviews of other customers about the product before buying it.
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
Every small business owner who has a website is interested in driving traffic to it. The main methods are SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click advertising). SEO helps to organize the site in such a way that it can appear in the first positions in search results. PPC is buying a place in the results list. The advertiser is charged a fee when someone clicks on a link to the advertised website.
Why this is profitable for a smallbiz owner? Suppose you have a retail business and want to attract potential buyers to your site. You pay for advertising in which the cost of attracting each customer is $1.6. And the profit from this customer will be $3. Not bad for a lucrative business.
Google and Bing are the leader search engines.
In social networks, people come to distract and amuse themselves. But when it comes to a search for product in Google, this clearly indicates a desire to buy it. Therefore, traffic through a search engine is 300% higher than traffic from social networks.
BLOGS AND CONTENT MARKETING
Everyone has long known that advertising is the engine of commerce for a successful business. And companies spend considerable amounts on their advertising campaigns. Even well-promoted brands, whose names have already become proverbial, spend about a third of their profit on advertising.
But with the development of Internet marketing, an increase in the number of advertising tools met resistance: ad blockers appeared. Today, approximately one-third of consumers use ad blocker when they browse online. In 2015, the loss in global business due to the use of ad blocking extensions amounted to almost 22 billion dollars. It must be kept in mind that advertising differs in types, some of which may themselves be ineffective. For example, more than half of network users hate banners, but native advertising works well. The most popular forms of native advertising are sponsored blog posts (65%), sponsored articles (63%), and sponsored Facebook updates (56%).
Interestingly, even paying a lot of money for content marketing, only 32% of companies have a clearly defined content marketing strategy. Planning a strategy allows American businesses to predict and make more profit.
One of the most effective ways to promote goods and services is video advertising. But besides this, today video is becoming one of the highly effective methods of blogging. Even if it seems to you that blogging is not the best idea for your retail business, do not forget that users like it when a company releases user-oriented content. So, you should turn your attention to blogging. And you need to post in your blog daily, because this is 25% more effective than monthly posting.
An external blog builds link mass, which drives traffic to your business and makes it fruitful.
Nearly half of the world’s population have email. While you have been reading the first sentence of this paragraph, 2.5 million emails were sent over the Internet.
It is estimated that an average office worker spends 6.3 hours a day reading e-messages.
Email newsletters remain one of the features of American business. In B2B segment, it is email marketing that brings the main income.
But starting to develop your retail business, remember that only 1/3 of all letters will be read. Even fewer people (3.2%) will follow the links and click on the button that you offer them. Nevertheless, companies are optimistic about the future of email marketing. In any case, it certainly has good prospects in the US business.
In addition, it is much easier and more convenient for people to use a letter than to answer a phone call. And most of us prefer email communication with businesses.
MEDIA MARKETING IN AMERICAN BUSINESS
And finally, no small business owner can build a successful business if he ignores such a marketing mastodon as social networks. The prevailing number of Internet users have at least one page on a social network. And 86 million consumers have admitted that social media recommendations matter to them.
3 years ago, only 13% of SMEs established communication with customers through social networks. But, as we see now, SME owners come to the understanding that prosperous business is unthinkable without social media marketing.
If you received a complaint on a social network, you have only 1 hour to respond and apologize to your client. Otherwise, the client will be disappointed.
Facebook is a solid leader among all social networks. 1.32 billion log in to Facebook daily. It would be pity to have your own retail business and not use the opportunities to communicate with such a huge audience. The lion’s share of all network marketing expenses (45%) was spent on Facebook in 2016. No wonder. 75% of brands and 40 million SMEs actively use Facebook to reach their target audience.
Let’s not forget about other social networks with a huge number of visitors. Instagram (500 million active users) and Twitter.
In view of rapidly developing technologies, people’s consciousness has become clip-like. This has affected the business in the USA. Today, everyone wants to communicate quickly, even on business. Therefore, as a small business owner, you need to be able to promptly respond to any client contact.
In the B2B sector, social media plays an important role. It is now convenient to use LinkedIn. Studies have shown that 80% of all leads come from this social network.
YouTube and Google are also popular in American business.
Each small business owner should remember that purchase decisions are made by people based on information from social networks in 84 out of 100 cases. And 55% of buyers in the B2B segment go to social networks to find information about a product or seller.