by Murgesh Navar
I am frequently asked how a small business, whom we champion, is different from a startup, which we are. Both have considerable similarities and driven by the same entrepreneurial instincts and energies. Both are generally also founded by people who are not only highly passionate about their venture, but also more comfortable with ambiguity and risk than the general population. However the main difference between the two is one of scale and risk. A technology startup like ours has enormous distribution potential by leveraging the reach of the Internet while a small business generally designs its products and services to serve the needs of a much more limited local market. For example, merchants in New York and Dallas can just as easily leverage our payment analytics and social media management solutions to efficiently market to their customers, who usually tend to live and shop locally around their business.
While the power of the internet is very advantageous to a technology startup, it is also much more risky because competitors can service this same market from anywhere. Competitors are much more likely, or inevitable, to emerge with better technology or lower price to disrupt a technology business. The small business tends to operate in a much more protected local environment and can more easily build and maintain a loyal customer base. But small businesses are also not immune to changing consumer behaviors wrought by new technologies. They need to better understand their customers through the use of analytics and engage in conversations with customers through social media.