Small Businesses Need To Look Beyond Brick-And-Mortar, Stop Fearing Digital Shift

Small businesses are behind the times when it comes to the global market, and without expanding, they may fail. According to, the pandemic has brought about an overall decrease in foot traffic since January 2020, and small businesses are going to need to look farther than just their local markets to replace the loss.

Robert Clarkson, Chief Revenue Officer of Payoneer, recommends that small businesses leave behind brick-and-mortar shops and instead embrace a global digital-first strategy rather than starting with a physical location and then scaling online. These days, it’s vital that companies start by catering to the global market right off the bat by translating their website into other languages, investigating the interests and needs of global consumer bases, and taking different currencies – all of which are easy with the right tools.

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Another issue that keeps small businesses in the past isn’t just the way they’re finding new customers. It’s also how they’re managing their businesses from the inside. Many owners operate with outdated, analog methods of keeping track of finances, inventory, and payroll, said Clarkson. While some are taking advantage of how modern technology can provide an increased customer base, others are still invested in doing things “the old way” because of a fear that they won’t be digitally literate enough to survive.

Clarkson said that small businesses don’t necessarily have another choice – it’s either upgrade or become obsolete. If local customers aren’t enough to keep them afloat, they have to start using Fintech platforms that will help organize their customer processes, give them better cash-flow visibility, and provide faster access to working capital.

For those who don’t feel confident in their digital abilities, the gig economy can also be a huge benefit to small businesses. If owners aren’t tech-savvy and require extra help establishing an online presence, they can now source global talent at an affordable price to assist in teaching founders digital literacy. They can also turn to providers or lenders for extra support when expanding if they need help understanding the process of payment schemes and currency exchanges.