Small Business Creativity and Increased Market Share

Arla Wallace is an accounting professional with over 20 years experience. She spent several years working for both publicly-traded and private entities before founding her own business. Today she partners with small business owners so they can focus on operations while leaving the responsibility of staying on top of accounting tasks to her. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified ProAdvisor for Quickbooks Online.

Small Business Creativity and Increased Market Share

As cited in the March 2021 Issue Brief 16 released by the SBA Office of Advocacy, the number of those self–employed and working was down 20% in April 2020 as compared to April 2019. While location, industry and demographics played a role in small business decline in the U.S. due to the COVID–19 pandemic, the research did not analyze what the surviving small businesses did to adapt to changes in consumer consumption and barriers to serving customers. Forced to find a new perspective, surviving businesses instituted safety measures, adjusted product lines, employees learned new skills, and new technology was adopted. These creative measures enabled small businesses to meet customers right where they were.

Does Your Small Business Foster Creativity?

The size of a company can impact its ability to adapt to meet customer needs. Small businesses typically have fewer people to educate on a new process or idea, so it makes sense that change can happen more quickly as compared to that of a larger organization. However, creativity can be hard to measure by a small business owner. This is perhaps why job roles are not assigned expectations to be creative, let alone time given for employees to be creative. Furthermore, business leaders that crush creativity do not allow employees to take risks that are necessary to be creative. On the other hand, business leaders that foster creativity have knocked down barriers for employees so that fear does not inhibit employees from embracing new projects, thus allowing employees to escape their comfort zone.

The Link Between Innovation and Market Share

Paid media and advertising are no longer the sole means to reach customers. Once employees are engaged inside of a small business, doors to reach a larger market or even establish deeper connections with existing customers can open. Paying attention to the customer, including products offered, the buying process, and customer support are all means of identifying avenues for creativity and methods to uncover what the customer needs before they need it. Differentiation brought about by employee innovation and creativity is what sets a small business apart from its competitors. Increased market share, a product of creativity, can be measured via growth in sales, web analytics, and customer visibility.

The effects of COVID–19 are still felt by many small businesses. Leaders open to seeing and hearing the ideas of others have the ability to empower employees to do what is best for the company and for the customer. Therefore, regardless of the size of your team or the distance between individuals, fostering creativity in your small business could be the catalyst necessary to drive an increase in your market share.