Grants for technology can be found at MWBEzone.com, a website dedicated to grants for small business. Small businesses can learn from some bookstores when considering: to survive or expand?
The internet has actually been found to be the saving grace of a lot of small businesses. In Michigan, Brilliant Books, a small bookstore found that offering free shipping for online orders and creating a social media presence, widened their customer-base.
According to Hearst Newspapers, the internet creates a global audience. Instead of taking out local advertisements, a new business might create a website and take out internet advertisements. With the internet presence, their reach is never-ending.
According to The New York Times, possibly because of the internet, retail sales of books (for chains, not strictly online retailers like Amazon) jumped last year for the first time since 2007 and are up 6 percent this year. In fact, sales at Brilliant Books are up 14 percent this year. With an internet presence, businesses never closes. A customer could make a purchase at midnight – even 3 AM! Entrepreneurs with retail websites are making money in their sleep.
The internet has made a wider scope for networking, possible. For instance, Brilliant Books in Michigan hired a social media manager who opens a dialog with potential customers and other marketers that live beyond the bookstore’s local. They can locate other businesses and talk about promotional techniques.
An example of how to creatively utilize social media comes from Wild Fig Books and Coffee in Kentucky. They created a large Instagram following by creating a Wild Fig character, Barista Barbie, who reads, drinks coffee, and offers cheeky commentary. People follow Wild Fig on Instagram, hoping to check in on the latest happenings with Barista Barbie. This is not only entertaining but draws in customers.
If you’re interested in creating an online presence or to improve upon your business’ technology in some way, go to MWBEzone.com and look at the Technology category.
About the Author: Sabeen has a Masters in Public Health and is currently writing for MWBEzone.com and its affiliated websites.