David Waring is the co-founder of Fit Small Business, a website that provides small business reviews and recommendations. Previously, he served as a top executive at a foreign exchange trading company, which he joined as an initial employee and grew to a team of over 700. We recently talked with David about the state of small business today and learned a few tips on how small businesses can overcome the obstacles that separate success from failure.
Tell us a bit about your background. Why are you so passionate about small businesses?
I was born and raised in a small town in North Carolina. My father owns his own real estate brokerage there. In addition to being raised in an entrepreneurial family, I am passionate about small business because it is the backbone of our economy - and, in many respects, society as a whole.
When you look at the data surrounding today's small businesses, what are some of the statistics or discoveries that might surprise the typical small business owner?
A big story at the moment is that retail shops are dying. While it's true that many big box retailers are struggling, smaller retailers are actually going through a revival period and even independent bookstores are growing.
Finish this sentence: "The one thing that small businesses do or fail to do when they start out (or expand) that tends to increase their chances of failure is..."
...to budget for enough time to start turning a profit. My experience with both my own and other businesses is that it takes three years to get a business to the point where it is replacing the compensation you were earning before going into business for yourself. The first year is all about finding product-market fit, the second year is all about doubling down on what's working and cutting what's not, and the third year is where you really start to hum.
Tell us about a new small business tool that you're really excited about right now.
The ability to retarget your website visitors on other sites like Facebook and via the Google display network opens up a lot of opportunity for small businesses to stay top of mind with their visitors. Before retargeting, when someone came to your website and didn't purchase or join your email list, they were basically gone. Now, you can add them to your retargeting lists, show them offers, and share content with them on an ongoing basis. That's powerful.
When a small business needs to purchase new office hardware, what steps can it take to ensure that it isn't stuck with something that isn't a good fit for it?
Even if you don't end up purchasing from Amazon, reading user reviews on the hardware you are looking to purchase on Amazon's website is a great way to judge what's appropriate for your business. If you do order from Amazon, you can also generally make a return free of charge if you don't like whatever it is that you ordered.
Regarding outbound marketing, when does it make sense for a small business to outsource this function to other companies?
If you have a large pool of cold leads and the product you are selling is not very complicated, or the initial call is just to set a meeting for a more in depth discussion, then I think this can make sense.
What types of small businesses benefit from automated call services?
Two examples would be those selling a B2C product that is pretty standard and straightforward (like car insurance), or those who need a firm to help them set appointments for a more in depth discussion on a B2B product (like SaaS software).
What will it take for small businesses to succeed in the future?
One of the biggest things it takes for a small business to succeed is a willingness to continue to innovate and embrace change. That will be true in the future as well.
Check out our plans and pricing to see if CallFire can help your business grow.