In 2022, American small businesses had a banner year advocating for public policy positions regarding their use of digital tools and technology. From California to New Hampshire and to the halls of Congress, thousands of small businesses made their voices heard. Policymakers listened, proving that small businesses are more important than ever when they raise their voices on issues affecting the digital ecosystem.
Small businesses voiced their opposition with the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), legislation that sought to change how large technology platforms operate. Thousands of small businesses sprang into action because of the unintended consequences AICOA would bring, like making digital tools more expensive and harder to use, damaging their bottom lines. Ultimately, AICOA was defeated.
While we should celebrate this accomplishment, significant issues remain on the horizon. AICOA’s supporters in Congress and state legislatures will likely try to pass similar legislation, and some lawmakers wish to change the basic rules of how the modern internet functions. Current law enables websites to host user-created content, and every facet of the internet – from social media to third-party online marketplaces to discussion forums and online review sites – is built upon this law. Without it, or if significant changes are made, the internet and e-commerce would be set back decades, and small businesses would lose access to online reviews, online marketplaces, and countless other digital products and services.
Additionally, there is renewed energy to pass new data privacy regulations, an issue many small businesses care deeply about. If carefully crafted, privacy legislation could offer consumers important data protection without causing unnecessary harm to small businesses.
Regardless of what happens in D.C. or your state capitol, 3C wants to help every small business make 2023 your most profitable year ever. That’s why we’re rolling out a special virtual roundtable discussion on Tuesday, Jan 24th, featuring small business experts to help every participant develop a clear plan to overcome their toughest challenges, properly measure success, and much more.
And, be sure to check out the 3C Community, our exclusive online platform for small business leaders to connect with others, ask questions, and stay up to date on 3C events and activities. If you’re interested in joining the Community, please submit this form and we will send you an invitation.
Here’s to a healthy, happy, and profitable 2023 for your small business!
I am 3C – Small Business Stories
Lawmakers need to see firsthand how digital tools make running a business easier. These “I am 3C” stories give policymakers insight into how important digital tools are to your success. If you are interested in sharing your story, simply let us know here.
J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works
J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, owned by Nancy Bruns, sells their all-natural products through a web store powered by Shopify and at local farmer’s markets. The company also sells wholesale (utilizing Mable for new customers). In the past nine years, the business rapidly expanded, and nowadays its products can be found in over 600 retailers and restaurants across the country. They also ship worldwide.
Through Salt-Works, Nancy also got to know many Appalachian artisans. In 2019, she launched J.Q. Dickinson Appalachian Mercantile, a business that curates high-quality Appalachian foods, home goods and crafts, that sells its goods via a subscription-based model directly to consumers either monthly or seasonally. These unique products are available to wholesale accounts as well.
Nancy is a stellar entrepreneur who understands the untapped market for authentic brands from the Appalachian region.
SMBs in the News
As you know, every issue is a small business issue. As policymakers work on legislation, it’s crucial for them to hear from small business leaders like you before making decisions that could affect your company and your future. While there are many ways to make that happen, one of the most effective is working with your local newspaper to share your story.
Midlands Business Journal
Scott Moller, Co-Founder, Year 5
When Scott Moller’s wife came home with an idea to start a handbag retail business in 2002, he wanted to help get her company off the ground. It wasn’t long after when he was prompted to try Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on Google. At a mere three cents per click, Moller tried PPC and within 30 minutes got his first online order. “I immediately left my consulting business, changing my direction to focus fully toward online sales,” he said. “In May 2009, Amazon emailed me to try their new program Amazon Prime as I had just started testing out selling one product, the Invisibelt. I listened and went from selling 30 a month to 30 a day. Again, I immediately realized this opportunity and shifted my focus to nearly 100% Amazon, and it’s been that way since.”
As Amazon grew, Moller noticed that some brands were having difficulties knowing who the sellers of their products were. That is when Year 5 was born. Moller co-founded the company with his brother, Brock Moller. The Moller brothers focused on becoming a brand management agency so companies could understand Amazon, get full control of their brand, be represented properly and benefit from the full profitability of being the only seller. The company now works with dozens of brands across 22 states and performs a range of services from listing creation to advertising execution to inventory management and customer service.
3C Roundtable Discussion: How to make 2023 your most profitable year yet
Tuesday, January 24th
1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT
During this virtual roundtable, participants will hear from expert small business owners on how to set goals, face challenges, identify action steps, and truly reach their most ambitious goals in 2023 (as well as measure success along the way). By the end of the conversation, every participant should come away with a clear plan for making 2023 their most successful yet.
Sign up here!
3C’s 2023 Kickoff Survey
It’s been quite the year for 3C and small businesses. As a valued small business leader, we want to hear from you! We are conducting a short survey to gain insights into what small business leaders find most valuable from 3C’s offerings. Our goal is to deliver content, resources, and events tailored to your needs as a small business leader.
Please take a minute to let us know how we did and what type of content you’d like to see in 2023! By completing this short survey, you have the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card! The winner will be chosen at random at 4:59 pm ET on Jan. 12, 2023.
Your Quick Digital Fix
January 22 – 28 is Data Privacy Week, an annual campaign with an important goal: to educate businesses and individuals about the importance of online privacy. It’s also an important reminder that small businesses can stand out from the competition by respecting privacy and being open about how they use data. Here are a few steps toward building a culture of respecting data, presented by the National Cybersecurity Alliance.
Here are 5 things you should know:
(From the article 5 Small Business Trends to Watch in 2023)
1. Technology will become even more important
With the recent growth of virtual worlds, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and blockchain, it’s useful for small businesses to understand these trends and consider how they might impact their companies. The trick with new technology is to implement specific solutions that will truly make life easier, which will vary from business to business.
2. Employee relationships are changing
Many employees have reported fatigue and burnout in the wake of the pandemic and some are now rethinking their attitude about work. For small businesses trying to navigate the waters of in-person versus remote work, it’s important to understand why staff may be reluctant to return to the office and to look for ways to accommodate those needs. Here’s a guide with several retention strategies for businesses looking to retain the best employees
3. Sustainability is more than just a buzzword
According to Deloitte, there’s been a sharp increase in the number of customers adopting more sustainable lifestyles over the past year. That’s partly been driven by economic concerns, but also by environmental ones. People have been talking about sustainability for years, but it may now make a real difference in consumer choices.
4. Inflation and economic insecurity
In spite of aggressive action from the Fed, inflation continues to rise. This poses significant challenges for small businesses, putting them in the unenviable position of having to swallow higher costs or risk the loss of loyal customers with price hikes. Thankfully, there are also some helpful strategies to reduce the impacts of inflation, such as streamlining operations and being extra vigilant about cash flow.
5. Video is where it’s at
When it comes to social media, video content is quickly becoming just as important as text. People spend more time on pages with videos and a lot of info can be condensed into a short video. This makes them a great way to tell a story and build a brand. In other words, 2023 is a great time to reference guides like this one with 25 marketing ideas for YouTube Shorts videos that small businesses can use to stand out and grow their followers.
Do you have a small business story you’d like to share with us or any questions or concerns you’d like us to address? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org