Small Business Ownership in Suburban America: Where Quality of Life Is Key


If you think about how the American landscape has shifted over the past 100 years, you come to some interesting conclusions. Back 100 years ago, cities were the place to live where neighborhoods all developed their own identities. Cars and mass transit were not widely available, so there need to be small businesses on every block to cater to the population. As technology advanced and the freeway system caused people to move out of the cities, those small business owners suffered.

That idea if the neighborhood small business never really left the American landscape. It just shifted to the suburbs where small business owners are setting up new shops at a record pace. But what are the challenges that face small businesses in the suburbs and how can businesses overcome those challenges?

Finding Good People

The small businesses in the city had problems growing because they could never find the right employees in the locally available talent pool. This idea of a hiring issue has followed small businesses into the suburbs where local talent pools are either hit or miss. The wide availability of transportation makes it easier for businesses to hire from outside their neighborhood, but the problem of getting talented people to work for small suburban businesses still exists.

Limited Customer Base

A small suburban business that is designed to generate revenue from local foot traffic is not going to be able to supplement its income with online sales. The business will need to focus its resources on generating foot traffic revenue, and in some suburban areas that can be a problem. There are many parts of the suburbs that are getting rezoned as commercial, which can be devastating to a suburban business.

Be A Good Resident

One way a small suburban business can survive is to be an active part of its local community. Quality customer service starts by becoming an integral part of your customers’ lives, which means that suburban small businesses need to become involved with their customer base and be considered one of the community.

Become Transparent

A small business trying to make its way in a suburban neighborhood must be honest with every customer and have completely transparent business practices. Once again, the mark of a quality business is one that the customers trust. If a small suburban neighborhood does not feel it can trust its local businesses, then it simply will not patronize those businesses.

Suburban businesses are starting to feel the pinch as online shopping and a trend back towards city living is starting to pull business out of the suburbs. But if a suburban business keeps an eye on staying in line with the quality of life that the neighborhood it serves insists on, then it can become that integral part of the community that survives for many years.