An SMB is a small or medium-sized business, which has from 10 to 500 employees, depending on who you ask. While SMBs may be small, their impact is huge.
- There are 27.6 million small businesses in the US
- They account for 54% of all US sales
- 35.9% are owned by women
They're the businesses in your neighborhood or town. Like that mom-and-pop stationery store where you buy birthday cards, the fast-food franchise where you pick up dinner on your way home, your local pizza joint, or your dentist. You'll find Clover merchants in your neighborhood.
See Clover merchant case studies for more information.
The best way to identify what merchants need is to talk to real merchants. Don’t be shy about stopping by to chat with the owner or employees at your favorite cafe or retail store, or at your dry cleaner, or your hairstylist.
Find out what it takes to run their business, and what they want to make it better. Here are some questions to get started:
- What’s your biggest headache?
- What takes up too much of your time?
- What do you wish you could do more easily?
- What would help you serve your customers better?
- What do you wish you could fix about your current system, whether it is a computerized POS system or a paper notebook?
These conversations may spark some ideas about what merchants need. Here are some needs we have heard from the field. These needs were reported by all types of merchants:
- In-house accounts: for frequent individual and business customers; merchant keeps a tally and charges or bills at the end of a time period
- Customer app: prompts customers to provide contact information and additional notes for customer engagement and marketing, combine multiple entries
- Visual charts for reporting
- Reporting by device
Imagine a variety of situations where businesses need to serve many customers in a short time.
- Restaurants have intense periods of service: breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner
- Seasonal rushes affect restaurants and retail: holiday shopping, Black Friday, Halloween (costume shops), Valentine’s day (flower shops)
- Game or event-related crunch periods at a stadium or concert hall: intermission or pre-/post-game
The key is to complete these transactions smoothly and correctly. In other words, to maximize throughput, (more transactions = more business) and reducing the risk of errors.
- Errors can cause a bad customer experience. The impact of negative word-of-mouth and social media can be high.
- It can take time to correct an error — for example, if a customer requires a refund.
- When it's time for reporting, it can take business owners and their accountants a lot of effort to identify the cause of errors and correct them.
Merchants want to trust that the data that shows up in reporting is correct and easy to understand.
Merchants want to spend less time taking care of back-office administrative tasks–like payroll, inventory-ordering, and taxes–and more time connecting with their customers. This could include recognition and rewards for loyal customers, giving special offers, or making it easy to provide a recommendation (like a great 2-for-1 discount.)
Updated about 2 years ago