How to Establish a Small Business in Tough Economic Times – A Massive Challenge

Sneha Hull | August 12, 2021 | 149 views

Starting a small business is challenging due to tough economic times in this pandemic. However, this time is both a blessing and a test to conquer.

The world economy has suffered significantly because of COVID-19. Additionally, the tough times exposed company owners to unforeseen and unfathomable difficulties and compelled them to devise novel business methods. As a result, starting a firm became more accessible, as new owners could enter the market with specific recession-savvy equipment and techniques.

Crucial obstacles to beginning a new small business during challenging economic times include:
  •  A sluggish economic recovery.
  •  Uncertain consumer spending.
  •  Funding was becoming scarce due to tight credit markets.

According to The Wall Street Journal, numerous major financial institutions, including Bank of America, Chase, and Capital One, have tightened lending rules in response to the uncertain financial environment.

Despite the challenges mentioned earlier, a new small business can succeed with proper preparation and business strategy.

According to New Business Statistics, applications fell to slightly more than 1.1 million in the 4th quarter of 2020 before increasing to 1.37 million in the first quarter of 2021. Then the figure increased to 1.44million in the second quarter. More than 448,000 new company applications were lodged in June 2021 alone. Mentioned statistics show that launching a small business during this economic downturn is also possible, albeit with some caution.

This article will put forward a few tips to be considered when going for a new small business in tough economic times.


Create A Well-Researched Business Plan

2020 was one of the challenging economic times in history. The success of every firm is contingent upon its business plan; small business owners must have a well-researched business plan. Therefore, small business survival is heavily reliant on a sound and well-planned business strategy.

Since tough economic times have altered market demands significantly, you should build your company plan accordingly. Work on many business factors such as marketing costs and tactics, budget planning, pricing strategy, sales strategy, personnel capacity, and needed infrastructure, among others.

Difficult economic times may work to your advantage as well since fewer competitors mean less competition and lower overhead expenses.

Consider all the obstacles associated with the pandemic's time and tailor your business plan accordingly. If you intend to pitch your firm to investors, your business plan does not have to be complex.

Securitize Capital for Investment

The economy received a significant blow due to COVID-19, and many financial lenders tightened their lending requirements by demanding a higher credit score and income verification.

Numerous financing alternatives exist, including personal savings, personal or small business credit cards, bank loans, venture capital, crowdsourcing, and angel investors. Before considering pursuing any of the mentioned options, consider having your business plan examined by expert advisers, close friends, or a loan officer.

With a well-planned company strategy, it is feasible to securitize funds for investment. However, before getting funding, ensure that you have a financial backup plan in place for both your business and personal affairs. Then, budget carefully to ensure that you can afford the other critical payments.

Credit cards are the most often used form of financing amid tough economic times.

Enlightened Market Savvy

Evaluate your redesigned company plan and develop game-changing new marketing components that include innovation. By narrowing your focus, you increase your chances of success.

Keep a careful watch on your competitors to develop an intelligent marketing and promotion strategy and budget for marketing. Competitive assessments educate you about your competitors' strategies and advertising tactics. In addition, competitive analyses can provide you with the vision necessary to develop polished and intelligent marketing strategies.

You need to make a list of what you're giving. For example, what is the nature of your product/service? Who is your target audience for your business? Which social media platform would you utilize to promote your business?

By segmenting your clients, you may increase the effectiveness of your marketing. For instance, if your firm sells sports items, you should target young clients interested in pursuing a career in sports. This will ensure that your marketing approach is highly effective.

Utilize Cutting-Edge Technologies

Cutting-edge technology in businesses is the newest trend in reaching out to customers in a tough economic time. By leveraging contemporary technology, you may automate several areas of corporate operations, resulting in cost savings.

Utilize cutting-edge digital technologies such as cloud-based apps and software to streamline company processes while being cost-effective.

Online marketing, namely online advertising, may help you reach out to the relevant audience and offer your products and services.

Several advantages of contemporary technology include the following:
  • Increased brand visibility.
  • Additional payment options.
  • Enhanced security.
  • Easy remote operation.
  • More in-depth market research.


Act with Consummate Customer Service

When you give outstanding customer service, you may build stronger customer relationships. Conversely, as is frequently stated, one negative review from a client may jeopardize your entire existing customer.

It is critical to provide timely and pleasant service to your consumers, especially in tough economic times. Excellent client relationships do not arise by accident; they require much effort.

You can give excellent customer service and keep your clients satisfied by following the below tips:
  • Make your consumers feel valued for their patronage.
  • Anticipate and resolve client issues before they become a significant issue for your organization.
  • Attend to their inquiries and respond. They are deserving of being heard and appreciated.
  • Provide an excellent support network and a diverse array of client resources.
  • Anticipate what services the consumer will require in advance.


Develop A Robust Networking Infrastructure

Networking is pivotal for reaching out to consumers during tough economic times to start a small business. Connect with other entrepreneurs, meet your competitors, visit your suppliers, and keep a contact list of everyone you know.

Expanding your network enables you to establish relationships with people; in exchange, they may suggest clients to you and vice versa, thus assisting in the growth of your organization.

You can join a local business networking organization, attend business seminars, or become a member of professional associations. Exchange business cards, exchange information about your product/service supplied and seek out their experience or perspectives, which they will share with other small business owners, assisting you in expanding your network.

Often, the small business owner's networking activities provide the most extensive returns in their firms.


FAQs:

How can you start a small business with tough times?

You may establish a small business during difficult economic times and succeed. The key to success is building a well-researched and solid business plan, getting adequate finance, designing an intelligent marketing strategy, and cultivating vital networking.


How do you deal with tough economic times?

While difficult economic circumstances can make any company owner anxious about making choices, it is critical to be mindful of the economy and cautious with long-term planning. Concentrate on rivals' methods and entice clients away from them. Try to learn from their successes and mistakes and provide your consumers with something more or different from what your competitors provide.

How can small businesses engage customers in tough economic times?

Provide your consumers with unique discounts on your products/services. Respond quickly to their questions or concerns, establish a customer loyalty program, and engage them on social media.

Spotlight

Possible POS

Headquartered in Stafford, Texas, POSsible POS is a provider of innovative technology to the hospitality and retail industries. We specialize in complete POS systems and POS software to meet the needs of almost any business environment, including restaurants, groceries, salons, convenience stores, and liquor stores, to name a few.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

How to Choose the Right Small Business Accounting Software?

Article | September 23, 2022

Introduction With increasing complexities in financial management and migration towards digital technologies for accounting operations, advanced accounting solutions are gaining massive traction across the small business sector. Accounting software assists small businesses in enhancing their financial performance by providing higher accuracy, optimized payroll, automated transaction tracking, centralizing financial records, and others. However, it is crucial for small businesses to integrate the right accounting software as per their requirements to get the most out of the solutions. Since the market is full of numerous accounting solutions with different capabilities, selecting the one that is most suitable for your business can be overwhelming. So what are the factors that a small business owner should consider before looking for an accounting solution? Let’s see below. Select the Right Accounting Software: The Top 5 Primary Factors to Consider for Small Businesses Types of Software With multiple types of accounting software available, such as system software, application software, cloud-based software, and others, small business owners can opt for solutions that suit their operations and working style. If the owners operate in an on-the-go style, cloud-based software is best for them. But if the owners prefer to work from a single location, then the system software is appropriate for them. Learning Curve Until and unless small business owners are aware of the ins and outs of accounting software, using the software may seem complicated. As the high complexity of the solutions can result in costly errors, these owners should make sure that the learning curve for operating the software is not too steep. Features List Before small business owners start reviewing various types of accounting software platforms, they should take the time to brush up on the basics. It is crucial for the owners to make sure that the accounting solution has all the functionalities and features they need, such as inventory management, multi-currency support, payment processing, expense tracking, and others. They should also consider the add-on features that the solution provider can offer. Software Cost Accounting software varies in cost, depending on the number of users it supports, its tools and features, and other factors. The more specialized the software is, the more expensive it gets. Small business owners should compare prices between various accounting software providers and understand the exact amount and the process by which they will be charged. For instance, some of the companies charge standard monthly fees, while others have a single upfront cost with additional charges for add-on services. They should also find out if there are any hidden charges associated with the setup, customer support, and cloud storage. Customer Support A huge part of a reliable accounting solution is customer service. This is because small business owners need quick solutions and answers if they get stuck or have any questions related to the software. They do not want to be bounced around from representative to representative when reaching out for support. Thus, the owners should look for accounting software that offers excellent customer support and service. While selecting the solution, they should research and read customer testimonials about the software’s customer support. Begin Your Accounting the Right Way Efficient accounting is a crucial part of financial management, which involves tracking critical business activities such as accounts receivable and payable, invoicing and billing, bank reconciliation, reporting, and tax compliance, among others. It can be difficult for small businesses to get everything right, yet good accounting is fundamental for the company's growth and success. Choosing the correct accounting software is a crucial first step when getting started with the discipline. To get the most out of your accounting software, it is essential for small businesses to carefully consider their requirements, check the availability of features as per the requirements, and then select the accounting software that provides the capabilities they require for the greatest accounting experience.

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TECHNOLOGY, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

How Are Small Business Accounting Software Meeting the Industry Needs Today?

Article | July 20, 2022

Introduction Every business owner wishes to become financially independent when starting a business. To achieve that, it is crucial for the owners to manage their finances in an efficient manner. When done wrong, financial management, which is supposed to make a company's budgeting processes more efficient, has led to the loss of funds in many cases. Without sound financial management, small businesses may struggle to meet their objectives and might even suffer losses that could push them into insolvency. Financial management assists businesses in maximizing their market share, minimizing capital expenditures, maintaining proper cash flow, and improving profits. Accounting software plays a significant role in proper financial management and has become a vital need for all businesses today. With a better understanding of the inefficiencies of manual bookkeeping and the increased chances of error in finance tracking, business owners are increasingly shifting from managing finances manually to leveraging innovative solutions, such as accounting software, to improve their financial management. Why Is Small Business Accounting Software a Need for the Industry Today? In the course of a typical day, there are numerous tasks and responsibilities that must be managed and accomplished by small businesses by the end of the day. From planning to managing finances and accounting, a small business owner's back is full of a plethora of day-to-day tasks. As a result, keeping track of every last detail is nearly impossible for them, especially in accounting, where keeping track of every transaction is critical for managing business operations. Accurate and reliable accounting management is critical for small businesses and start-ups to ensure stable cash flow. As accounting software helps small business owners keep track of every single transaction along with other benefits, such as managing business finances, understanding profitability, and preparing tax statements, among others, it is becoming a necessity for small business financial management. Here are some of the other reasons why small business accounting software is becoming a necessity in the industry. Overcoming Manual Records With the growing number of transactions in the small business sector, it is becoming increasingly difficult for business owners to track and record income and expense data. As accounting software assists these owners to overcome manual work by recording the data directly into the page in real time and keeping a daily update of all the transactions, it is increasingly being sought by small businesses. Ease in Maintaining Transaction Due to the increasing customer inclination towards the adoption of digital payment solutions, small businesses are encountering numerous obstacles in maintaining all transactions from different online portals. Accounting software helps businesses leverage the bank feed feature to connect credit card accounts and the business bank, thereby centralizing and maintaining all transactional data in one place. Preparation of Reports and Financial Statements Keeping track of all small and large transactions and preparing financial statements, such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets, of these transactions manually is a tedious task and prone to errors. Accounting software automates the preparation of these financial statements and allows comparing transaction activity from prior months and years. As a result, it is increasingly gaining acceptance among small business owners. Increases Efficiency Accounting software allows small businesses to manage invoices and expenses, prepare for taxation, and keep tabs on all the financials, including payments, bad debts, upcoming dues, employee salaries, and others. Delegating all these financial management responsibilities to accounting software enables small business owners to focus on tasks that require their undivided attention, thereby boosting business efficiency. Bottom Line Regardless of the size of the business, every company strives to optimize its financial management, improve efficiencies, minimize costs, and simplify complex and tedious tasks. Accounting software can help small business owners achieve these objectives, along with eliminating time-consuming manual processes and redundancies, by automating accounting practices. Following this, the growing introduction of advanced cloud-based accounting software capable of providing real-time data access to business owners from anywhere at any time and on any device is expected to change the ways accounting is done in the small business industry in the coming years.

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FINANCE

5 Tax-Related Resolutions for Smarter Small Business Accounting in 2020

Article | November 25, 2022

Accountants working with small businesses often play the role of business advisors, especially when it comes to educating their clients about tax regulations and reducing their tax bill by taking all legitimate factors into account. We’ve gathered four tips that accounting professionals can use as a check-list to give to their small and mid-size business owner clients looking to make better financial decisions this year.

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7 BIGGEST ENTREPRENEURIAL MISTAKES

Article | February 11, 2020

This is the first post in a seven-part-series detailing the biggest entrepreneurial mistakes business owners make. The series will run over the next few weeks so check back to learn more. These are the 7 Biggest Mistakes I have seen entrepreneurs and companies make that can devalue their Intellectual Property (“IP”) portfolio, damage their brand, or sink a deal. If you are considering turning your idea into a business, read this carefully first. There are other mistakes you can make, but these are the deal-breakers. Any one of these can cost you big bucks, credibility in the eyes of investors and potential partners, and ultimately lead to evaporation of the value of your idea.

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Spotlight

Possible POS

Headquartered in Stafford, Texas, POSsible POS is a provider of innovative technology to the hospitality and retail industries. We specialize in complete POS systems and POS software to meet the needs of almost any business environment, including restaurants, groceries, salons, convenience stores, and liquor stores, to name a few.

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mdf commerce Partners with Acumatica to Provide SMBs a Unified E-commerce Solution

mdf commerce | January 31, 2023

On January 30, 2023, mdf commerce inc., one of the SaaS leaders in digital commerce technology, announced a collaboration between its ecommerce solution, k-e-commerce, and Acumatica. The products, when combined, provide a full offering to SMB clients and extend the reach of mdf commerce's e-commerce solution. The k-e-commerce ERP-integrated e-commerce platform designed for Acumatica Cloud ERP customers comprises a CMS, cloud hosting, and post-implementation servicing and training. In addition, k-e-commerce assists B2B businesses by providing a PCI Level 1 compliant environment. Vice President of partner solutions at Acumatica, Christian Lindberg, said, "With over 20 years of experience in the B2B ecommerce industry, built specifically for manufacturing, wholesale and distribution businesses, k-ecommerce checks off all the boxes for providing Acumatica Cloud ERP users with a robust and scalable B2B ecommerce platform. The integration to k-ecommerce also means Acumatica customers can maximize the return on their current technological infrastructure." (Source – GlobeNewswire) President of k-e-commerce, powered by mdf commerce, Pascal Cardinal, said, "Acumatica has been the world's fastest growing Cloud ERP company for more than six years. We are proud to support the Acumatica Cloud ERP business by providing the fully integrated ecommerce experience that is key to partners in the channel and end users within the Acumatica ecosystem." He added, "We are excited to introduce the new solution in exclusivity during the Acumatica Summit 2023." (Source – GlobeNewswire) About mdf commerce inc. mdf commerce Inc., previously known as Mediagrif Interactive Technologies Inc., facilitates the flow of commerce by offering a comprehensive suite of SaaS solutions that optimize and speed up commercial transactions between buyers and sellers. The firm's infrastructure and services enable companies all over the globe to produce billions of dollars in yearly transactions. Its procurement, e-commerce, and e-marketplace solutions are backed by a strong and devoted workforce of over 700 professionals in Canada, the United States, Denmark, Ukraine, and China. About Acumatica Acumatica is among the world's top innovators in cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP). Acumatica ERP provides adaptive cloud and mobile technologies with a one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive user licensing model, providing a comprehensive, real-time picture of your company at any time and from any location through its global network of partners. The technology is based on a future-proof platform with an open architecture for quick integrations, scalability, and user-friendliness, allowing it to give unmatched value to small and mid-sized businesses. The company has its headquarters in Kirkland, Washington, and is owned by EQT Partners, one of the world's most prominent investment firms.

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Melio Announces Integration with Xero to Sync Payments Data

Melio | January 25, 2023

On January 24, 2023, Melio, the industry-leading B2B payments platform for small businesses, announced a new integration with the cloud-based accounting software platform Xero. Through this integration, Melio's small business clients will be able to seamlessly sync their accounts payable and receivable data with Xero, therefore saving time on bill payments, facilitating reconciliation, and enhancing insight into incoming payments. Melio's co-founder and CTO, Ilan Atias, said, "This two-way sync with Xero will help small business customers better understand how much money is going in and out of their accounts at a time when it is critical to keep a close eye on cash flow." He explained, "Moreover, this integration will help save customers time and simplify the bill-paying process while providing them with more visibility and control over their day-to-day finances." (Source – PR Newswire) The United States is home to 33.2 million small businesses, which accounts for 99.9% of the nation's businesses. This integration will enable these businesses to spend less time on accounting and more time growing their businesses. In addition, small business bills, payments, and invoice information will be seamlessly synchronized across the two platforms, saving time typing data into separate accounts and eliminating the guesswork of matching charges to open invoices. The VP of Partnerships, Americas, at Xero, Carol Haverty, stated, "Melio's integration with Xero offers tremendous value to our accounting and bookkeeping partners and their small business clients." She also said, "Melio and Xero have a shared vision of championing small business. We look forward to helping our customers streamline workflows and save time with this integration so they can focus on growing and running their business." (Source – PR Newswire) This is Melio's fourth synchronization with an industry-leading accounting software vendor, extending the company's track record of collaborating and integrating with financial institutions, software providers, and markets. About Melio Melio is a market-leading B2B payments technology firm that helps small and medium-sized businesses send and receive payments rapidly and without hassle, thereby improving their cash flow and productivity. Melio, one of the fastest-growing B2B payment platforms in the United States, is revolutionizing the transfer of funds between businesses. It serves banking institutions and software firms that want to provide accounts payable and receivable solutions to small business clients. The company was founded in 2018, with headquarters in New York, a research and development facility in Tel Aviv, and headquarters in Colorado for the western United States.

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mdf commerce Partners with Acumatica to Provide SMBs a Unified E-commerce Solution

mdf commerce | January 31, 2023

On January 30, 2023, mdf commerce inc., one of the SaaS leaders in digital commerce technology, announced a collaboration between its ecommerce solution, k-e-commerce, and Acumatica. The products, when combined, provide a full offering to SMB clients and extend the reach of mdf commerce's e-commerce solution. The k-e-commerce ERP-integrated e-commerce platform designed for Acumatica Cloud ERP customers comprises a CMS, cloud hosting, and post-implementation servicing and training. In addition, k-e-commerce assists B2B businesses by providing a PCI Level 1 compliant environment. Vice President of partner solutions at Acumatica, Christian Lindberg, said, "With over 20 years of experience in the B2B ecommerce industry, built specifically for manufacturing, wholesale and distribution businesses, k-ecommerce checks off all the boxes for providing Acumatica Cloud ERP users with a robust and scalable B2B ecommerce platform. The integration to k-ecommerce also means Acumatica customers can maximize the return on their current technological infrastructure." (Source – GlobeNewswire) President of k-e-commerce, powered by mdf commerce, Pascal Cardinal, said, "Acumatica has been the world's fastest growing Cloud ERP company for more than six years. We are proud to support the Acumatica Cloud ERP business by providing the fully integrated ecommerce experience that is key to partners in the channel and end users within the Acumatica ecosystem." He added, "We are excited to introduce the new solution in exclusivity during the Acumatica Summit 2023." (Source – GlobeNewswire) About mdf commerce inc. mdf commerce Inc., previously known as Mediagrif Interactive Technologies Inc., facilitates the flow of commerce by offering a comprehensive suite of SaaS solutions that optimize and speed up commercial transactions between buyers and sellers. The firm's infrastructure and services enable companies all over the globe to produce billions of dollars in yearly transactions. Its procurement, e-commerce, and e-marketplace solutions are backed by a strong and devoted workforce of over 700 professionals in Canada, the United States, Denmark, Ukraine, and China. About Acumatica Acumatica is among the world's top innovators in cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP). Acumatica ERP provides adaptive cloud and mobile technologies with a one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive user licensing model, providing a comprehensive, real-time picture of your company at any time and from any location through its global network of partners. The technology is based on a future-proof platform with an open architecture for quick integrations, scalability, and user-friendliness, allowing it to give unmatched value to small and mid-sized businesses. The company has its headquarters in Kirkland, Washington, and is owned by EQT Partners, one of the world's most prominent investment firms.

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Melio Announces Integration with Xero to Sync Payments Data

Melio | January 25, 2023

On January 24, 2023, Melio, the industry-leading B2B payments platform for small businesses, announced a new integration with the cloud-based accounting software platform Xero. Through this integration, Melio's small business clients will be able to seamlessly sync their accounts payable and receivable data with Xero, therefore saving time on bill payments, facilitating reconciliation, and enhancing insight into incoming payments. Melio's co-founder and CTO, Ilan Atias, said, "This two-way sync with Xero will help small business customers better understand how much money is going in and out of their accounts at a time when it is critical to keep a close eye on cash flow." He explained, "Moreover, this integration will help save customers time and simplify the bill-paying process while providing them with more visibility and control over their day-to-day finances." (Source – PR Newswire) The United States is home to 33.2 million small businesses, which accounts for 99.9% of the nation's businesses. This integration will enable these businesses to spend less time on accounting and more time growing their businesses. In addition, small business bills, payments, and invoice information will be seamlessly synchronized across the two platforms, saving time typing data into separate accounts and eliminating the guesswork of matching charges to open invoices. The VP of Partnerships, Americas, at Xero, Carol Haverty, stated, "Melio's integration with Xero offers tremendous value to our accounting and bookkeeping partners and their small business clients." She also said, "Melio and Xero have a shared vision of championing small business. We look forward to helping our customers streamline workflows and save time with this integration so they can focus on growing and running their business." (Source – PR Newswire) This is Melio's fourth synchronization with an industry-leading accounting software vendor, extending the company's track record of collaborating and integrating with financial institutions, software providers, and markets. About Melio Melio is a market-leading B2B payments technology firm that helps small and medium-sized businesses send and receive payments rapidly and without hassle, thereby improving their cash flow and productivity. Melio, one of the fastest-growing B2B payment platforms in the United States, is revolutionizing the transfer of funds between businesses. It serves banking institutions and software firms that want to provide accounts payable and receivable solutions to small business clients. The company was founded in 2018, with headquarters in New York, a research and development facility in Tel Aviv, and headquarters in Colorado for the western United States.

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Swiftly Systems, Inc. Digitally Empowers 15,000 SMB

Swiftly | January 13, 2023

On January 12, 2023, Swiftly Systems, Inc., a best-in-class retail technology firm that provides omnichannel tools for business retailers, announced the launch of its highly-requested new SMB platform. This launch democratizes direct exposure to the Swiftly platform for more than 15,000 SMBs, empowering them with an inventive portfolio of retail tools and solutions to own their digital customer relationship on an enterprise-grade platform that has been adapted to meet the requirements of the small and mid-market retailer. In addition, this would increase Swiftly's network of retailers to over 25,000 stores throughout the United States, representing over 12% of grocery and convenience store locations. Swiftly is making this announcement in collaboration with two launch partners, Skupos, one of the leaders in driving business outcomes in the convenience retail industry, and Alliance Retail Group, the largest self-negotiating grocery advertising group in the United States, to expedite the success of SMB shops. As a result, their clients have access to an easy-to-integrate, low-cost digital platform that offers advertising access to the nation's most extensive network of retailers. Although today's merchants recognize the need for digital solutions to compete with big-box retailers, they have traditionally needed more technical and financial resources. This new platform solves these difficulties and develops solutions for SMBs in the aftermath of impending mergers such as Kroger and Albertsons, which are anticipated to result in higher customer sizes and stronger digital strengths, rivaling Walmart and other major retailers. With this announcement, Swiftly significantly closes this gap, guaranteeing that small merchants do not lose business to internet giants. Moreover, by providing SMBs with the technology and resources they need to generate new income streams quicker to market, and with less upfront costs, the scales are tipped more fairly in favor of SMB merchants. About Swiftly Systems, Inc. Swiftly Systems, Inc. is a leading technology and retail media solutions provider for retailers. The company was founded in 2018 and has delivered revolutionary retail engagement solutions that empower retailers to control the digital consumer connection. Its retail tools, analytics tools, mobile platforms, and media network help retailers accelerate sales and develop customer loyalty while empowering brands to reach more customers and amplify campaigns using 1st-party data. As a result, the firm makes retail technology more accessible to merchants and provides them with the tools they need to succeed in a highly competitive sector.

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