TradeGecko global survey reveals SMBs ‘punching above their weight’ amid tough competition

  • 80 percent maintained or increased revenue in 2018-2019 TradeGecko State of Small Business Global Report, with over 40 percent expanding into new channels or geographies

  • Agile SMBs prove adept at leveraging social and digital channels to level the playing field with larger rivals but manual processes limiting growth potential

Toronto / Singapore, 30 January 2019 – More than 80% of small and medium-sized commerce businesses (SMBs) reported maintaining or growing revenue in 2018 despite the challenges competing against global rivals. This is according to the inaugural State of Small Business Global Report by TradeGecko – a leading cloud-based commerce platform for growing companies, in collaboration with Golfdale Consulting.

SMBs are the lifeblood of the global economy, making up over 95% of all firms and 60-70% of total employment. The report polled 573 product-centred commerce businesses from 24 countries around the world, including 383 from the United States, to lift the lid on the challenges and opportunities for small and medium-sized commerce businesses. In total, the small businesses surveyed employed some 107,000 people and sold US$1.9 billion in products last year. They spanned markets from the United States to Australia, sectors from Fashion to Fitness, and from early-stage start-ups to mature multi-million dollar businesses.

“Small and medium businesses are punching above their weight when it comes to competing in the global market against large firms with big teams and big budgets. But as they grow they are being stretched by operational issues and manual processes. Cloud-based services, social media and digital channels are levelling the playing field in all areas of running a business – marketing, accounting, sales, payroll, and inventory and order management,” said Cameron Priest, Co-Founder and CEO of TradeGecko.

The survey showed that agile small businesses are highly digitally savvy; leveraging social media and technology to level the playing field with bigger competitors when it comes to marketing their products. Businesses under US$1 million rely primarily on word of mouth to generate buzz about their products with Facebook (74%) and Instagram (43%) being the dominant social media platforms.

As SMBs grow, they rely on a broader channel mix including bricks-and-mortar, in-person sales, wholesalers and distributors. This is reflected in their social media strategies, with firms over US$5 million using channels such as Twitter (37%), YouTube (37%) and LinkedIn (36%) for promotion campaigns.

While SMBs are adept in using technology to market products, many of their operational systems are holding them back. Almost a quarter of SMBs under US$1 million still rely on pen and paper for their inventory management, with another 31% using spreadsheets. Businesses under US$1 million spend on average over 90 hours a month on critical backend functions such as order and inventory management as well as product sourcing. Even larger businesses (over US$5 million) rely on manual processes, with more than half reported using spreadsheets. Many respondents reported having too much, or not enough stock, with 70% of respondents regularly experienced ‘stocking out’ or ‘overstocking’.

In general the study showed that while tough competition (31%) remained the biggest challenge for founders across the board, the day-to-day pressures of running a business have an impact. Insufficient time (27%), hiring the right staff (26%) and operational issues (21%) were among the biggest factors cited by founders holding their businesses back from growing more quickly. Owners would like to spend more time on marketing, sales and product development.

“Being a business founder often means being a ‘Jack and Jill of all trades’ but as your business succeeds you can leverage technology not just to sell product but to build scalable operational systems that will support future growth,” added Priest. “Flexible online tools give small and medium-sized businesses the superpowers they need to compete with larger rivals and ultimately free up business owners to do what they do best, build amazing businesses.”

For more information, The State of Small Business Global Report can be downloaded here.

https://www.tradegecko.com/ebooks/2018-2019-state-of-small-business-report

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

UnitedHealthcare Catalyst Launched in Owensboro to Combat Diabetes

In an effort to tackle the rising challenge of type 2 diabetes within local communities, UnitedHealthcare has introduced the Catalyst™ initiative in Owensboro, Kentucky. This community-based program is designed to identify and address the primary health challenges in local areas, starting with a significant focus on type 2 diabetes. 

Cisco and NVIDIA Partners to Streamline AI Infrastructure in Data Centers

Cisco and NVIDIA have unveiled a collaborative effort to introduce advanced AI infrastructure solutions designed for easy deployment and management within data centers, catering to the growing demand for extensive computing capabilities essential for thriving in the AI-dominated corporate landscape.

Walmart Pledges US$1 Million to Aid Valparaiso Fire Victims

In the aftermath of severe fires that ravaged four municipalities in the Valparaiso region in early February, causing extensive damage to over 7,000 houses and affecting upwards of 4,000 individuals, the Walmart Foundation alongside Walmart Chile has stepped forward with a commitment to aid in recovery efforts. The conglomerate has pledged a substantial social investment of US$1 million to support the victims of this calamity.

3 Innovative Startups Transforming Food Waste into Eco-Friendly Products

In a world where we’re facing big environmental challenges and trying hard to make the most of what we have, there’s a huge problem staring us in the face: food waste. Imagine this—for every three bites of food you take, one was wasted somewhere along the way. That’s right, about a third of all food meant for us never gets eaten, ending up in the trash instead. That’s a lot of wasted resources—like water, land and energy—not to mention the extra greenhouse gases it adds to our planet. 

Cyberhaven Launches Linea AI to Combat Critical Insider Data Risks

Cyberhaven has recently unveiled Linea AI, an advanced AI solution aimed at enhancing data security by mitigating insider threats to essential corporate information. This platform distinguishes itself by leveraging the collective intelligence of top security analysts, applying a deep, human-like understanding to billions of data interactions within an organization.

Top 3 Legal Battles Threatening Elon Musk’s Empire

Elon Musk, the visionary behind Tesla and SpaceX, hardly needs an introduction. His ambitious ventures often catapult him into the spotlight, not just for groundbreaking innovations but also for a series of high-profile legal disputes.