Written by Kenneth C. Wisnefski
Innovation can lead to profitable small and medium business (SMB) growth starting in 2012. This year can be a rebound year for SMBs if business owners commit to innovating and focusing more on client-retention. The key problem is that most business owners are reluctant to move forward due to pressing economic concerns including the financial markets, credit ratings and unemployment; however, it’s the lack of focus on key internal areas that are keeping them in a hover pattern.
While the Small Business Confidence Index rose slightly in October (90.2, from 88.9 in September) in large part due to less negative sales growth, there have been positive signs in recent months. Leading up to Thanksgiving weekend, retailers and online merchants spent an average of 31 percent more on paid search advertising which translated to a record 16.4 percent uptick in Thanksgiving weekend purchasing by the consumer. This suggests both retailers and consumers have a lot of cash sitting on the sidelines.
This is where innovation comes in to play. Those merchants and retailers who chose innovative and less-expensive advertising channels including social media and paid search were rewarded well during the Thanksgiving weekend. Ecommerce is surging and SMBs that want to generate new sales growth and improve client retention need to pay close attention to the momentum that is building.
While only 62 percent of retailers committed to investing more in ecommerce in 2011 (statistics gathered from Forrester’s Research), the remaining percentage is missing out on huge growth opportunities.
The investment in ecommerce also enhances client-retention because the present-day consumer is looking for an online store where they can buy their products to alleviate leaving their homes. They are always looking for value, whether it is free shipping, or shopping in comfort from their home, to creating an online account that makes purchases more convenient and faster.
SMBs have a lot of cash sitting on the sidelines as evidenced by the uptick in holiday advertising. Innovation and client retention rates are two important factors that business owners need to pay close attention to in order to stay competitive in a global market.
About the Author: Kenneth C. Wisnefski is a serial web Entrepreneur currently on his third venture, WebiMax. The company is based in Mount Laurel, NJ and staffs 150+ personnel. Wisnefski grew the business from the ground-up focusing on key markets including search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media, ecommerce, web design, reputation management, and analytics. The company was recently selected 30th overall in Forbes America’s Most Promising Companies list (2011) and selected as a Best Places to Work by the Philadelphia Business Journal.