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Small Businesses Are Facing a Growing Digital Disadvantage

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The little guys have to band together.

With large corporations relying increasingly on big data and analytics, Zoe Baird, CEO and president of the Markle Foundation, writes for The Hill that a “dangerous digital divide” is forming. Small businesses with fewer financial resources, she says, cannot match the investment that bigger enterprises are making in data and analytics, which could eventually put the little guys at a competitive disadvantage.

“Data has enormous power to transform a business, identifying efficiencies across an operation and spurring innovation. With advanced analytics, companies can forecast demand, optimize supply chains, identify emerging markets, and increase exports to the world’s growing middle class. … In order to grow small businesses, secure the jobs they create, and enable them to expand their operations, we need to break down the barriers that are preventing them from accessing big data,” Baird writes. She then proposes a few solutions, recommending that small businesses join forces with each other.

Read more at The Hill

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For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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