Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Let’s take a look at the most popular purchasing and payment channels for small businesses. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, read on to learn about the very real economic impact facing one region of the country as the “Silver Tsunami” approaches and how rising housing prices and flagging sales are hurting small businesses.
There’s an app for that: in-store purchases fall as app-based purchases increase
While the days of cash might not be completely over, data from the payments industry shows that digital transactions and web-based purchasing are eclipsing in-store transactions for many small businesses. Today, less than half of small business revenue is generated in the actual store. Similarly, sales by mail order, fax and field reps have seen a decline as online transactions dominate and app-based sales increase.
As a side note, Apple Pay has overtaken the Starbucks app as the most popular mobile payment platform. Does your business accept it?
The Number: 11%. In-store sales declined by 11% from 2018 to 2019, while app-based purchases for small businesses increased to 35% in 2019.
The Quote: “There is a lot going on in the small business space when it comes to accepting payments, and the options available to merchants can be daunting. There is a great opportunity for companies that can understand the needs of small businesses and help them navigate the uncertainties of the ever-changing payments space.”
Spokane, Washington prepares for “Silver Tsunami”
Succession is a big deal — and we’re not talking about the television show. Approximately 85% of small business owners from the Baby Boom generations don’t currently have an heir in place, ready to take over the business when they retire. Check out three profiles of small businesses in eastern Washington grappling with how to hand over the reigns or close the door on their life’s work.
The Number: 33,440. If you think that the “Silver Tsunami” isn’t an issue, think again. In Spokane County, Washington, boomer-owned businesses employ 33,440 workers and bring in over $6 billion in sales each year.
The Quote: “The thought of trying to liquidate all this is daunting.”
Small businesses tied to home sales seeing decline heading into 2020
Sales of existing homes fell in September, causing a ripple effect in the remodeling, home furnishings and related industries. While home sales are still up 4% over last year, economists continue to predict a weak real estate market in 2020, which has the ability to drag small contractors and other home-goods businesses with it.
The Number: 0.2%. The Commerce Department is reporting that sales of furniture and other household furnishings are down 0.2% in the first nine months of 2019.
The Quote: “Sales at electronics and appliance retailers, whose merchandise includes refrigerators, washers and dryers, were down 3.9%. When people aren’t buying new homes, they have fewer reasons to shop at those retailers.”