Small Business Sacrifices – Keyword: the Amazon Insider Podcast Episode 052

December 28, 2017

Well, that’s it and 2017 is pretty much over. Hopefully, you had a successful fourth quarter and you’re taking some time to re-energize and prepare for 2018. If you’re like most Amazon sellers, you’re likely a small business. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, then you’ve probably made a lot of sacrifices this year.

Many small business owners don’t take vacations. When they do they end up working during vacation. It’s one of the many sacrifices small business owners make to build their business.

“I think they are the heart of innovation across all industries. The big ideas, the new concepts, they tend to come from the entrepreneurs and small business owners,” says Victoria Treyger, Head of Marketing and Sales at Kabbage, a small business lending company.

Victoria also used to work at Amazon. She was at Amazon when the Marketplace was brand new. The customer-centric aspect is what drew her to Kabbage where she’s been now for five years.

“Every team here loves to get behind the stories and really understand what it takes to be a small business owner,” says Victoria, “It’s a lot of hard work and sweat and tears and they put all that into running a small business.”

Recently, Kabbage did a survey of more than 400 small businesses across every industry. They wanted to understand what kind of sacrifices small business owners are making along with the challenges they’re facing.

The top thing across the entire board that small business owners are most likely to give up – are proper vacations. Then even when owners take vacations, 75% of them end up working on the vacation.

“There’s incredible blending of workload and life across every single type of business,” Victoria says.

Small business owners do this because their business is their baby. Also, because they’re the one that’s totally accountable to their customer.

The next thing that Kabbage discovered is that small business owners are motivated and optimistic about the future. Most of them expected to increase revenue by the end of the year. In the new year:

  • 36% of owners plan to find ways to improve their skills
  • 32% plan to invest in new technology
  • 28% plan to hire more employees.

The last stat, about hiring new employees is very important and here’s why- 99.7% of companies that hire people in the United States are small businesses. The health of small businesses and the ability they have to grow and hire more has a great impact on how the United States economy works as a whole.

Kabbage was built to help small businesses get funding. They’re trying to learn more about what it takes to keep small businesses running. That’s why they created the small business survey. As a bonus, hey picked one business to give a special surprise to, a vacation.

“I’m setting that whole week up as a reboot,” says Fran Kuglen, CEO of Hairzing.

You can watch the video of Fran receiving the vacation here:

Fran was also on a recent Keyword episode discussing Product Patents, including her own Patent Horror Story. You can listen here:

Kabbage is also going to offer more resources and information for their customers in the future based on what small businesses have told them they need. The small business survey will also be done again in the future so they can continue to adjust and change things as needed for customers.

One of the things I like about Kabbage is that they have relationship managers that work to get to know every business the company lends to. They do this so they understand what their customers need and use that information to adapt and change. Kabbage is like Amazon, they strive to be customer-centric.

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