I have a friend who got into the rose business down in Ecuador. You can find their rose farm at Texas Flowers. Their really big SuperBowl holiday is Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day coming in at a close second. Selling long stem roses (and a lot of them) in short bursts of time plus sending them all around the world is certainly a dynamic business……many moving parts i.e. “leaves and rose petals.” And perishable as well. A small business like this has to stay highly flexible and customize each and every client or distributor.
Small Business Versus Big Box Stores
These days there are a lot of big boxification of companies here in the USA like Home Depot. The small in town hardware stores are fading away quickly. As a matter of fact there was just an announcement that Staples is buying Office Depot for $6.3B. If the regulators let this deal go through even the boxification businesses are swallowing each other whole! So where does this leave small businesses? These days getting into the office supply business is probably going to be nothing but an uphill battle against these Goliaths. However there are many other opportunities where small businesses can compete. Where small businesses compete well is in the personalization and customization arenas. Doing a lot of personalization and customization for large big box stores and businesses can get expensive and unprofitable.
Personalization of Your Business
A good example of customization and personalization in the fast food industry is Chipotle. You can get your meal exactly the way you asked for it. It is not sitting on a shelf wrapped in foil and under a heat lamp. In order to grow a small business you must have access to cash or a line of credit. There are many ways to obtain funding like Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists, Banks and others. So let’s say the rose farm was in the USA they would need access to capital to add extra rose gardens for their big SuperBowl Holidays. Finding an easy to use solution for the extra cash at a reasonable rate can be daunting. I like what Kabbage is doing for small businesses in the range of $2,000 – $100,000. A very simple model, easy to qualify, easy to know if you will be approved. Cash is basically the life blood of any small business.