Finding Small Businesses that will Survive and Thrive

In the midst of the turmoil and chaos brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are reasons to be hopeful. Although small businesses are getting pummeled right now, we believe there are many that will survive the immediate crisis and emerge even stronger in the long run.
Discover small businesses that are buying today.
BuzzBoard

Our partners, enterprises and agencies that sell to small businesses, are finding that category-specific marketing and sales are even more productive than usual in this pressurized business environment. They’ve asked BuzzBoard for even more information and insight into individual categories, to identify the small businesses that will “survive and thrive”.

Categories that are the most active right now

(in digitization*, online presence and advertising) Some categories have been more active than others in adding digital capabilities, changing their online content, or ramping up their digital advertising. (Spoiler alert: It isn’t necessarily the categories you might think.) We’ll identify the most active ones.
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Actions they’re taking

The specific actions being taken, particularly adding digital capabilities, vary by category. Many actions are clearly driven by immediate needs in the crisis, but there are also signs of longer-term adaptive strategies. We’ll enumerate these actions.

Best practices in digitization and online presence

In each category there are small business exemplars that demonstrate the leading practices that leverage digital capabilities and online presence. We’ll describe these for leading categories, to provide a template for small businesses to build against (and service providers to sell into).

Categories that are inherently advantaged in the future environment

A key axiom in business economics is that the industry (or category) in which a business participates is a key driver in the success of that business. Stated another way, there are some categories that have an inherent advantage over others in a given environment. Our experience has shown that this axiom applies to small business as well.

BuzzBoard
In particular, BuzzBoard believes that the small business space has now evolved to the point where digitization* is more than just a competitive advantage. It’s now absolutely necessary to survive and thrive.

With digitization becoming the new normal for small businesses, a standard metric is needed to establish a commonality to compare SMBs despite category and other basic firmograhic differences. And hence D Score.

D Score: A New Lens to Capture the SMB’s Digital Essence

Given the importance of digitization, we’ve spent years creating a metric to assess a business’ digital robustness. We call this proprietary metric the D Score. It measures the digital maturity, or evolutionary state of the small business. We take hundreds of signals into consideration in deriving a D Score.

These include the business’ use of:

  • Cloud-based platforms (for a variety of functions, particularly sales and marketing)
  • Flexible communications
  • Secure transactions
  • eCommerce and “virtual” capabilities
  • Supply and distribution chain monitoring
  • Customer tracking and management systems
BuzzBoard
Our customers’ experience has shown that D Score is a powerful factor in explaining the competitiveness and success of a small business. We’re giving D Score a key role in identifying the small businesses that will “survive and thrive”.

* We define “digitization” as the adoption of key digital technologies and platforms. Many of these are cloud-based, and are used for a wide variety of business functions.

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