Small, independently owned businesses continue to be the backbone of the American economy — as they have been for generations. While startups led by Millennials may be quick to adopt technology—which may be the basis for their very existence in some cases—more established family businesses spearheaded by Baby Boomers and early Gen X-ers might be slower to do the same, if they do so at all.
Has Technology Leveled the Playing Field?
Depending on who you ask, you may be told that technology has leveled the playing field between small family-owned businesses and larger brands. Alternatively, you may hear that technology has made it easier for behemoths likes Amazon and Google to buy out startups and more established “competitors” before they become threats to some facet of their operations.
As you can imagine, it’s relatively easy to make a strong case for either argument — because both are true.
Technology has evened competition between mom-and-pop operations and established brands on local, regional, national and even global levels. With Amazon starting its own airline to deliver its own orders, pitting itself against the likes of UPS, FedEx and the USPS, it’s obvious that technology has also made it easier for larger organizations to expand their operations in new ways.
What does all this mean for family-owned businesses? It means technology is the key to the growth of family businesses. To compete more effectively and operate more efficiently, your family-owned business needs technology. If you plan to expand your business into a national or worldwide brand like Nordstrom or Target, you must have the technology to grow your family business.
The Turning Point is Now
While former founders and now older business owners may be reluctant at best to adopt the latest technology, an inevitable shift will happen to small businesses in the United States in upcoming years. According to the advisory firm EisnerAmper, about eight million independently owned businesses in the U.S. will endure a change of leadership because of a Baby Boomer retiring. As a result, more than $10 trillion of business assets might change hands by 2025.
Regardless of whether a business is family-owned or closely held, changing leadership and the shift of assets presents a huge opportunity for small businesses operating in America in any industry. With new leaders poised to take the reins of so many businesses over the next few years, now is the time to use technology to do some critical things, including:
- Laying the groundwork for an upcoming leadership transition
- Adding value to your business
- Ensuring foundational and institutional knowledge is available to successive leaders
- Preserving the history and enhancing the enduring legacy of your family’s business
Examples of Changing Times
To better understand why some mom-and-pops have yet to adopt recent technology, it’s helpful to see how rapidly things have changed in recent years. Here are some notable milestones:
- 1971: First-ever email sent by Ray Tomlinson, which he sends to himself
- 1985: Sybolics.com becomes the first registered domain name
- 1993: Ted Leonsis sends the first message using AOL Instant Message
- 1994: The first banner ad goes live on the internet
- 1995: The first sale is made on Ebay, and Amazon sells its first book online
- 2005: YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim uploads the first video to the platform
- 2006: Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, sends the first tweet
While the timeline provided above certainly demonstrates how relatively new our standard modern technology is, we have an even more compelling example of how much small businesses have had to adapt to changing times. Banks used to legally refuse to issue credit cards to women, with many only agreeing to issue a credit card to a married female if her husband co-signed on the account. It wasn’t until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 that U.S. financial institutions could no longer discriminate against credit applicants based on factors like race, marital status, gender, religion, color or national origin.
Must-Have Technology to Grow Family Businesses
To compete on today’s connected playing field, mom-and-pops need tech to grow their family businesses. It’s no longer okay to sit on the sidelines and be wowed by new advancements like the first tweet. Now, leaders and soon-to-be leaders interested in growing their family businesses must actively seek out the latest technology and incorporate it into their operations.
Technology to grow small businesses is what Velocity Merchant Services is all about. Dema Barakat founded VMS in her parents’ basement more than two decades ago to facilitate the growth of small businesses across industries. The staff at VMS consists of lifelong learners, which allows us to stay abreast of the latest technological advancements and make them accessible to small businesses.
Our point-of-sale systems represent some of the must-have technology we make available to small businesses interested in growing faster. We sell an array of POS systems that make it possible for family businesses to accept all sorts of payments in person and online. Our lineup of POS systems includes both stationary and mobile units, making them great picks for businesses in any industry.
When you purchase a Clover POS system through Velocity Merchant Services, you’ll enjoy the following key benefits:
- Free website
- Complimentary next day shipping
- Dedicated clover specialist
- Set-up assistance
- 24/7 support
- Lifetime warranty
Contact Our Team Today
Whether you sell things at a physical location, online or both, a seamless checkout process is critical to the continued success and growth of your family-owned business. Contact the team at VMS so we can provide you with a POS system that can support your current operation and grow with your business as it expands.
If you’re ready to expand your business now and currently looking for capital, ask us about our small business loan program. With this program, you may have access to as much as $250,000 in less than 72 hours.
Learn more about Velocity Merchant Services — committed to the growth of family businesses and proving it every day.