Analyzing The Digital State & Future of the American Small Business

Digital Marketing

Small businesses are the heart, soul and blood supply of the American economy.

No matter how small your work force or how limited your market is, friends, don’t underestimate your impact in your community and beyond. For you are the straw that stirs the drink of American business. Without you, the country would put up permanent Closed signs from coast to coast.

“What creates two out of three net new American jobs; produces close to half of our nation’s goods and services (non-farm private GDP); and be found coast to coast, in every small town, big city and rural enclave?” U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Marla Contreras-Sweet asks while stressing the importance of this fine-tuned machine.

In fact, America’s 30 million small businesses account for 99 percent of all businesses and 54 percent of all U.S. Sales, according to the U.S. SBA. But as we have detailed previously, the key to the survival and healthy future of American small business is staking a large digital footprint. For how loud, vibrant and creatively you transmit your business’ message and services to consumers digitally will decide whether you stay on the USA’s small business map.

Long Odds

And the numbers are daunting. Fundera reports just one-third of American small businesses will survive at least 10 years. Hollywood marriages and the Washington Generals have better odds of long-term victory than the average American small business.

Eighty-two percent of businesses that don’t live to see a 10th anniversary fail due to cash flow issues, according to VisualCapitalist. Fourteen percent fail because they ignore their customers.

So how do you beat the odds when the market is seemingly playing with house money? Get the word out on your company’s business and services with a digital megaphone cranked to 11. SBA studies show between 70-80 percent of people research a company online before visiting the small business or making a purchase with them.

The Future For Brand Awareness & Most Sales Is Digital

As Lead Pages reported in a 2017 study, driving sales (51 percent) and building brand awareness (48 percent) are the top two digital marketing priorities for small business. Here’s why small businesses today can’t afford to sit on a stale, skin and bones website as their lone digital market presence:

  • 96 percent of competing small business are using social media in their marketing strategy, according to Social Media Examiner.
  • 90 percent of marketers testify their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75 percent say they’ve increased traffic, notes Vendasta.
  • Most importantly and urgently, by 2020, BCG reportes, 70 percent of B2B search queries will be made by smart phone.

“Your website doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to be mobile-friendly,” Small Business Trends’ Rieva Lesonsky writes. “That’s non-negotiable in 2019.”

The future is digital. We all know this. But alarmingly, studies show only 17 percent of America’s small businesses are investing in search engine optimization (17 percent, a scary number given 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine), just 26 percent are investing in email marketing, and an alarming half of all SMB owners are using two or fewer software programs or applications in their marketing.

Will You Be Here In 5 Years Without Digital Marketing?

Clearly, not everybody is getting the digital memo. The most frightening stat of all comes courtesy of B2B research firm Clutch.co: More than one-third of American small businesses lack a website. Of those with a website, 28 percent are spending less than $500 annually on a website.

That’s not a recipe for long-term survival. While, as Digital.com reports, 71 percent of small business owners do their own digital marketing, calling in an expert like the very company your visiting write now to expand your company’s digital reach can give your business an invaluable weapon to market your business. Think of one of the first questions you ask every applicant who interviews with your company: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Ask yourself: Where do you see your company in five years? Then ask yourself, Can we get there without improving our digital marketing?

Alas, folks, the answer is most likely no.

For without digital marketing, Crowd Spring’s Katie Lundin writes, “your business may as well exist in an unlit locked vault – no customers are coming in and no sales are going out.”

So this Independence Day, we remind you to wave your company’s flag loud, proud and clearly across the digital sea.

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