What it means to build a small business.
In recent years there’s been a tremendous growth in the rise of entrepreneurs and the rise of entrepreneurs building start-ups. Little attention gets paid to small businesses though and it’s the lifeblood of new job creation. In 2018 there were 2.6MM new jobs added in the United States and of that 2.6MM, 1.9MM were small businesses. That means that over 73% of new jobs being created in the United States are from small businesses. On occasion that number has reached as high as 85%. What this means is that job growth comes from all sectors but the vast majority of growth comes from businesses adding 5,10, and just 20 jobs. Those jobs could be from opening a small agency, a restaurant, or even a lawncare company. While many of these jobs are deemed less desirable because the average wages they bring are much lower when compared to tech jobs it is critical to the success of our economy to continue to drive this growth.
What is a small business?
The actual definition of a small business is very vast. Depending on the industry it could range from a maximum of 250 employees to a maximum of 1,500 employees. It could also depend on your revenue which could range from $750K to $38.5MM. The defining characteristics change based on industry including farming, construction, mining, retail, transportation etc.
Fundera explains this a bit more here: https://www.fundera.com/blog/sba-definition-of-small-business
Why are small businesses important?
Small businesses with fewer than 20 people actually make up 90% of all US business enterprises. Big Box Karaoke is a small business that fits this characteristic. Today we have 10 employees. While our long term plans are to expand and add more jobs we would be considered a small business up to $7.5MM in revenue or having over 500 employees. We would essentially have to open 50 locations to achieve that kind of scale. It’s hard to imagine having that many locations but looking at Slim Chickens and their scale the last 16 years they have grown from 1 location on College Avenue in Fayetteville, AR to now 69 and have plans to reach 600 one day. These types of businesses provide easy access to full-time and part-time work for employees.
Where does BBK fit into this picture?
BBK was a long time coming. It took 10 years and 3 times to of trying to open it to make a reality. Now that’s finally here it’s a great time to reflect on what we are doing and working towards. When we envisioned BBK we wanted to provide something that we fell in love with years ago to other people, that’s private suite karaoke. That’s it. We spent 6 months after signing on our location to get the lights turned on. That 6 months included so many different aspects of what our business is today. It was reviewing architecture designs, engineering plans, combing through city codes, getting approval for certain licenses, and creating the experience that we would sell eventually. Once we opened, we took on a whole new scope of learnings from managing a night time business, to part-time employees, working with different distributors, and learning what works and what doesn’t work. We have had to listen to our customers, respond accordingly. We are learning what seasonality does to our business and how being in a college town can easily affect customer traffic. While only a small percentage of our businesses is from college students, we see that the community flows based on the college crowd. When more activity is happening with the U of A we see more people in. When less is happening, we see less. Pretty simple.
As we learn these trends we adapt. We are starting to consider what the future locations of BBK might be and we will give it the time it deserves when it comes. The learnings at this point are invaluable, insightful, and present. Owning a small business is no easy feat, but it can be rewarding and is ultimately a huge driver to the success of our economy.