For Small Business, Success Needs a New Recipe
By Taher Behbehani, GM and Head of Mobile B2B, Samsung Electronics America
Unprecedented. There is really no other description for the environment in which small and medium sized businesses are operating. Work is changing, becoming more remote and dependent on connectivity, but SMBs are still the lifeblood of our economy. Amid today’s uncertainty, their resilience and ability to be prepared for the future — not just react to whatever comes next — have never been more important.
I have a good friend who owns a bakery in Bethesda, MD. He has grown his business from the ground up, and he is a fixture in the neighborhood. Then, the pandemic hit. He’d never needed a digital footprint, other than a geolocation and simple website. But now he needs to adapt and evolve to keep his business afloat. There are millions of businesses like his.
Whether a bakery or a bike shop, companies need new technology and innovation to survive and thrive.
This week at our Unpacked event, we debuted new flagship devices that help businesses do just that. Our new Galaxy Note20 and Tab S7 are powerful devices engineered for productivity, no matter where users are. These devices are like a premium crossover vehicle: power and performance without compromise. They do it all.
Still, our devices are only one part of our longstanding and ever-growing commitment to help SMBs be remote ready and competitive. AppStack is another.
AppStack is a one-stop shop of curated cloud software that helps SMBs and entrepreneurs become more productive and agile. Simply put, AppStack takes the guesswork out of app acquisition. It says to SMBs: “You don’t need to be a tech expert or hire one. We’ll make it easy by putting the best apps, tailored to your needs, all in one place.” For business owners, especially those who have struggled with digital transformation and who don’t have the luxury of an IT department, that’s a game-changer.
Businesses with fewer than 500 employees create almost half of all American jobs and 43.5% of GDP. But as important as they are to the U.S. economy, they’re also often fragile. I know from first-hand experience how difficult is to start a business much less keep one going. The obvious reason is not having the resources, especially to weather an economic storm. It also has to do with not having the same access to technological knowledge and means as bigger competitors. Just think of the shift over the past few months and the companies who still relied on a physical server versus being on the cloud. Or the restaurant, a local favorite and mainstay in a community for decades, but unprepared for the reality of online ordering.
What if we could do more for these companies by leveling the technology playing field?
I believe SMBs should not be alone. Companies like Samsung must do everything we can to recognize what SMBs need and bring new solutions to market.
Of course, new solutions and being tech savvy are just part of the equation. Even the smoothest transition to cloud-based software or a creative social-media presence will not meet all the challenges that SMBs face. But if the technological foundation is in place, it is far more likely their imagination, ingenuity and grit will build something great.
With the tools and know-how they need, I wouldn’t bet against SMBs. My friend the baker now takes video calls for orders, and he uses software solutions to schedule appointments so customers can maintain social distance. He has completely transformed his business.
Let’s help others do the same. In the past few months, we’ve seen just how vulnerable our SMBs are. If these businesses continue to fold, the fabric of our neighborhoods and cities—what makes a hometown feel like home—will change irrevocably. But we’ve also seen resilience. SMBs represent the best of the American business spirit. The economy and our communities depend on their success.
That’s why Samsung is proud to support them. That’s why Samsung will continue to support them.