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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : June 17, 2013

SMBs: The marketplace is getting tougher

While there are more small businesses running in the US today than there were five years ago, there is also more competition and a confusing multiple screen marketplace. These things are leading many SMBs to say it's harder to run a business today than it was five years ago.

by Kristina Knight

This week is Small Business Week in the US, and Constant Contact is reporting on a new survey of small businesses. One of the most interesting facts: most (72%) believe 2013 will see revenue growth, even though the economy continues to be flat.

One of the challenges for small businesses is the tech side; nearly half (49%) say it's 'hard to keep pace' with technology while 40% say there is more competition today than five years ago. But they also agree on one thing that is helping them keep pace: marketing local.

"Supporting local is a growing consumer trend," said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. "The national discussion about the importance of small business to our economic recovery has raised awareness, as have shop local movements like Small Business Saturday. Local and mobile search is also making it easier for small businesses to reach consumers. When a local restaurant can have its menu, along with that day's specials, readily available to restaurant seekers browsing their smart phone for a good dinner spot nearby, it's easy for customers to choose them."

Meanwhile, from BigCommerce, news that more full-time employees are moonlighting - with businesses of their own. According to their data most of the moonlighting is done during evening hours - or even after midnight. Throughout the day about 80% are working on their retail stores around noon, at 3pm more than one-quarter (25%) were 'moonlighting' and at midnight nearly half (49%) were still working on their stores.

"Through daily conversations with our clients and monitoring this trend over recent years, we understand that many of these small business owners are pulling long hours to run their business and work a full or part-time job on top of that, but these numbers provide us with hard stats and evidence," said Bigcommerce co-founder and co-CEO, Eddie Machaalani. "Opening an e-commerce business is relatively easy in today's marketplace. These days, all you need is a few minutes, a credit card and an Internet connection to get a fully operational online store up and running. These passionate entrepreneurs show that it's possible to start and grow your own business while also maintaining an additional source of income."

Other interesting findings include:

• 33% of moonlighters are based in the Southern United States
• 27% call the West Coast home
• 24% live in the Northeast
• 15% live in the Midwest

Tags: Bigcommerce, Constant Contact, ecommerce trends, small business trends, SMB tips

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