We’ve all probably heard the “small business failing” statistics: roughly one in five within the first year, and nearly half will fail within the first five years. And that was happening before the coronavirus pandemic hit. It’s a certainty that those numbers will rise as the world continues to navigate through this global pandemic.

A small businesses closing is no doubt an earth-shattering realization for its owner, and often times not a good one. A great business idea, whether it be a product or service, can easily fall flat on its face without the proper structure to support it. Just because your small business failed doesn’t mean you’re a failure; chance are you failed at putting the correct pieces in place to support you, or it just wasn’t the right timing.

Investopedia recently posted a blog titled, “The 4 Most Common Reasons a Small Business Fails,” with the four reason being: not enough financing, inadequate management, ineffective business planning, or an inability to market. For this post, we’re going to focus on the third and fourth ones.

Do You Really Know Who You’re Selling To?

Let’s not beat around the bush here: the coronavirus is going to wipe out a lot of businesses. We should all come to grips with that reality. So, as a small business owner, you obviously need to position yourself in the best way possible to stay above water. And yet so many businesses are refusing to do so.

Our blog from earlier this summer touched on the nostalgia aspect of marketing, and why we’re seeing (even more so now) a boom in certain industries, such as sports cards, Pokemon cards, and vintage video games. The millennial generation is entering into its prime spending years, and they now have more spending power than Baby Boomers, plus a combined spending power of $1.4 trillion.


Sorry for yelling there, but unless your business specifically caters to a generation other than millennials, the financial stability and future of your small business rests in the hands of this generation. And let me tell you this: millennials have much different buying habits than their predecessors, and they love spending money.

The Myriad of Choices and the Path of Least Resistance

The millennial generation is often thought of as job hoppers with not a single loyal bone in their body. That’s simply not true, though. You have to remember: millennials grew up in the age of computers, which means they know that there are options out there with not only what they are purchasing, but also who from. Still, over half of this generation is extremely loyal to a company once they have found the one they like.

So how does your small business become the one that a millennial is loyal to? By providing the path of least resistance.

Here’s a fun statistic for you to think about: nearly 90% of millennials anticipate their next purchase will be online. That’s not to say someone from that generation won’t go in to a physical store and buy something, but the data there is pretty overwhelming in saying that they prefer to do it online.

So just to wrap up a couple of things here: millennials want to do their purchasing online, and they know that there are a wide variety of options available to them. We all learned in physics class about the path of least resistance, and naturally that’s what’s going to happen here when it comes to where a consumer makes their purchase. So the question then becomes…

Why isn’t your small business selling online?

Your pizza isn’t that much better than the pizza at your competitor down the street. The clothing and jewelry in your boutique isn’t that much better than the clothing and jewelry at the boutique one town over. But I can guarantee that if one of you is selling online and one isn’t, it’s the former that is in a much better position to survive and succeed over the next five years–because of the path of least resistance. Not to mention, they’re already starting that brand loyalty early in the customer’s lifespan.

The small business that makes it easier for the customer to spend money, especially the millennial customer, is going to win nine out of ten times.

One more fact about millennials: they despise talking on the phone. For me personally, I’ll spend more money on worse food if I can order it online or text it in as opposed to picking up the phone. And that’s coming straight from a millennial’s mouth…or fingertips, I guess.

Find the path of least resistance for your customer. Make it as easy as possible for them to spend money with you, and I guarantee your small business will have a much higher rate of surviving than the ones who don’t.

If you need help in identifying how to accomplish this, or even in implementing strategies such as online shopping or check-out, send us a message by clicking here. Jellison Group Ohio has helped several other small businesses in navigating these rough waters, and we’ll be glad to help you, too.


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