Starting and running a small business is easier and less expensive than ever before. Digital tools and services have made once expensive business operations like building a website, advertising, and processing payments affordable and routine. Because these digital tools are easy to use, a baker or a mechanic on Main Street can expand their customer base and focus on providing the quality goods and services their customers expect.
Today, a florist in rural Iowa relies on affordable access to digital tools like Shopify, Pinterest, and Paypal to advertise her products, reach customers across the country, and quickly process online payments. These tools are not only essential to increasing revenue and cutting costs, but they also allow her to stay in business where the local economy alone could not support her handmade wooden bouquets.
Millions of American small businesses in today’s digital economy utilize at least one online tool or service to help streamline their business operations. In 2018, the U.S. Small Business Administration reported that small businesses represented 99.9% of all firms and employed nearly half the workforce. And while they may be called “small,” these businesses make up approximately 45% of Gross Domestic Product, adding trillions of dollars to local economies each year.
Saving time and money is always the top priority for any small business owner. Digital tools and services help. A recent Deloitte report showed that small businesses using at least one digital service attributed revenue growth to their use of digital tools. Given the measurable economic benefits for small businesses using digital tools, the report concluded that a majority of digitally-empowered small businesses plan to increase their use of these services.
Digital tools and services have allowed for the rapid transformation in the way small businesses interact with customers and sell their products today. These tools have proven to be essential in helping small businesses create millions of jobs for local economies everywhere. Maintaining their access and affordability is essential for the continued viability, growth, and success of small businesses everywhere.