New Walmart Opens, Small Businesses Close–Common Misconceptions

New Walmart Opens, Small Businesses Close–Common Misconceptions

A theory the new Walmart opening in town will indefinitely cause all local small businesses and existing retailers to disappear from the grid is a dismal conviction that society and small business owners recognize as unabridged fate.

Independent retailers are under pressure when billion dollar mega-retailers bring local competition–recent article states entrepreneurs gain by innovation.

Old Wive’s Tale Debunked

The article, The Wal-Mart Effect: Wave of Destruction or Creative Destruction?, from Economic Geography shows reputable, analytical stats backed by researchers at University of Florida, University of Toronto, and Princeton. In a 14 year study from 1980 to 2004 in Florida, research suggests small businesses may lose more by regarding or undertaking the notion that business will indefinitely flounder–buying into what has been engrained in the minds of Walmart shoppers, independent retailers, and Walmart greeters across the board.

Even though this a premise society has adopted and adapted to as commonplace knowledge, research from the study states this misconception as fallacy. The ostensible mythos negatively effects intimidated local business owners to the point of considering and often calling it quits rather than evaluating all possible circumstances before closing.

If local surrounding businesses offer services and products Walmart does not provide, the competition is not as steep in the long haul as some skeptics state.

Creative Destruction, Entrepreneurs Step Up

According to the study, retailers close to Walmarts are apt and previously equipped to sell the same products as the mega-retailer–providing the same product or service at a competitive rate either forces independent companies to change or leave the scene.

The vacant locations eventually attract fresh occupants and entrepreneurs that diversify the local market. For example, an art supply store can provide higher end, professional products Walmart does not stock.

A Korean restaurant, for instance, will benefit more from the new neighbor whereas a newly established Kodak store owner may need to reevaluate her business strategy since Walmart provides photo development services as well.

Variety and diversity in the market regenerates depletion of past businesses dissolving while opening doors for future investors, ultimately to potentially successful entrepreneurial ventures, in a business environment when large super stores like Walmart force market transformation.

Over time, the newbies establish products and services to compete and succeed with extensive innovative changes in business strategy to push forward and out perform competitors of old.

Inevitable Losses, Envisioned Gains

Entrepreneurs should be optimistic when Walmart waltzes in a few exits down I-77 from another Super Walmart: the small business owner should take a look at setting up shop next to the fresh asphalt and offer services and products the new mega-vender does not provide, perhaps a joint, non-profit validation parking service venture for Walmart customers.

Professional Employer Organizations for Small Businesses

Professional Employer Organizations for Small Businesses

In an increasingly complex and regulated business environment, owners must manage a plethora of complicated personnel matters, such as employee health benefits, retirement plans, workers’ compensation compliance, payroll, taxes, and unemployment insurance claims. Short of hiring or expanding full-time human resources expertise, many business owners find themselves juggling these unproductive details themselves. Worse yet, some owners leave themselves exposed to potential liability by operating outside of required government standards or find it difficult to compete with their more efficient rivals.

A Professional Employer Organization, or PEO, enables a business owner to keep current staff yet outsource much of the human resources management function, including payroll, benefits, and workers’ compensation. Working with a PEO frees the business owner’s valuable time from these necessary distractions and allows him or her to focus more energy and talent on core business activities that generate revenue and make the company more profitable.

How a PEO Works

According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, the PEO industry is approximately 30 years old, with 700 PEOs operating across all 50 states. Through a shared employment relationship referred to as “co-employment,” the business owner and the PEO agree to share employer responsibilities. Under this arrangement, the business owner typically remains the work site employer and continues to handle decisions related to hiring, termination, job requirements, work assignments, and promotions. The PEO can step in as the administrative employer, taking on functions related to payroll, benefits, and compliance with employment laws.

A typical PEO client is a small business with between 10 and 50 workers, although larger organizations are beginning to utilize PEOs as well. The types of businesses turning to the PEO model are diverse. PEO clients include accounting firms, manufacturers, universities, medical offices, government agencies, and others.

Benefits of a PEO

In addition to relieving the business owner from unproductive time-consuming administrative tasks, contracting with a PEO has other advantages. A PEO relationship can allow an employer to offer enhanced employee benefits that may otherwise be too expensive. PEO sponsored benefit packages can include 401(k), healthcare plans, dental, vision, employee assistance programs, and more.

A PEO may also enhance the work site and contribute to a safer working environment. Staffed by certified human resources specialists, the PEO focuses on safety programs, workplace risk management, and sound human resources practices. Other services may include recruiting, pre-employment screening, and planning for wages and compensation.

In an economy that continues to challenge employers to control costs and rein in spending, a PEO can be a viable alternative for many business owners. Employees can benefit as well, through greater access to valuable and meaningful benefits, in addition to the peace of mind that comes from knowing they work for an employer that is better positioned to remain strong and competitive.

Naming a New Small Business: Tips and Techniques to Finding Business Names

Naming a New Small Business

What’s in a business name? Oft times the very future success of the business depends on the name. There are many dimensions to achieving success when launching a new small business. Quality products and services, a detailed business plan, the effective use of public relations, and marketing that begins with naming the company are just a few must haves.

Below are several helpful tips to determining a new business name as well as a few pitfalls to sidestep.

Business Naming Tips

Deciding to start a new small business is a big decision – one of those life changing decisions. Most small businesses are built upon a particular expertise, service or a particular product. Before setting up the business or marketing plans, use the tips below to help determine a great business name.

  1. A business name should tell the consumer what the business is about. Is the company a manufacturer, a computer service firm, or a marketing consulting company? Use the purpose in the name.
  2. Use the name to convey the qualities or the personality of the business. For example, if the new business sells handmade wood furniture, let the name of the company tell the consumer right up front as in Amish Country Handmade Outdoor Furniture.
  3. Make the name concise so that it communicates the message of the business. Use a name that is distinctive so that it sets the company apart from competitors. And, use a name that those involved with the company will be able to stand behind.
  4. Think about how the name will look on a business card, in a web site address, on marketing materials, in print ads, or on an outdoor sign.
  5. Select a name that is easy to spell, pronounce and sounds good to the ear when consumers hear it on the radio or when they hear it from other customers.
  6. To find effective names, look for descriptive words or phrases that portray the purpose in dictionaries, trade magazines, or business directories.
  7. If an owner’s name is recognizable and respected by the industry, use the name in the small business name.

What Not to Do When Naming a Business

There are a few pitfalls that are easy to fall into when naming a new business including:

  • Using embarrassing spellings or abbreviations.
  • Selecting a name that could be made into a joke or that could be made into an embarrassing acronym.
  • Using a name that is a trademark infringement.

Legal Side of Naming a Business

There are several legal issues involved with establishing a new business name. New business owners need to research and understand trademarks and avoid using names that represent the business as being associated with an already established company.

Business.gov is a web site that provides new startup business owners with definitions and resources that are helpful in researching trademarks, filing, and registering business names on both state and federal levels.

If the business will become a corporation, Limited Liability Company, or a limited partnership, it is best to consult with an attorney that specializes in small business setup.

Marketing Begins with the Business Name

Successful small businesses start marketing as soon as they can. The first step – often the most important step – is in naming the business. What’s in a small business name? If the name is selected based on a specific set of criteria – success.