In a booming economy, small businesses have more opportunities to grow. They have a bit of extra money, so they can expand and put more effort into marketing and outreach programs, not to mention take a bit more time to consider things they shouldn't be neglecting, such as business insurance and social media marketing.
But a company can only push itself so much, and while the movement of the economy certainly does its part, there is another variable that plays a key role in all of this - the consumer. According to a new report by Bloomberg, the American consumer is a savior for the economy, without whom no business would be able to do anything.
The fourth quarter of 2014 saw consumption expenditures grow at 4.3 percent, which is the fastest rate of growth since 2006. What does this mean? It means consumers are fueling the growing economy.
Modern technology has revolutionized the way businesses interact with consumers. No longer do shoppers need to walk by windows or step into an office to see what a company is all about. If a consumer wants to know something, he or she will get online, probably through a mobile device, and find out themselves.
This puts small businesses and large companies on an equal footing, as the Internet doesn't distinguish between the two. This means two things. One, it is easier for a small business to reach a consumer than ever before, and two, small businesses have to work a bit harder to make sure their digital presence is up to par with others. If a consumer is not impressed by a company's mobile standing, it is likely they will move on to the next.
According to Entrepreneur, more than 60 percent of companies put PR departments in charge of social media. This says a great deal about the value placed on this marketing avenue. Many small businesses still make the mistake of thinking social media is just for fun interactions or photo uploads, when actually it can be used as a vital tool to promote a company's message.
Additionally, iMedia Connection reported 90 percent of Americans over the age of 18 own a cell phone, and about 64 percent of those are smartphones. This is a huge market of consumers that have anything they want right at their fingertips. Not only it is not advantageous, but it could be harmful to a company to not engage with these consumers through mobile platforms.
Consumers are the answer
It is no secret that attracting consumers is the only way for a small business to succeed, but with so many new avenues for business, it is important for small businesses to keep up with the times. Consumers are going to keep spending and increasingly use mobile platforms to do so. Small businesses should follow suit and do the same so that healthy business interactions can continue to grow the economy.