Digital Main Street Partner Spotlight: Square helps businesses reach buyers online and in-person
Square is a partner of Digital Main Street providing tools and resources to all types of businesses — from pet care shops to salons, home repair technicians to healthcare practitioners and restaurants to retailers. Square is helping businesses to reach buyers online and in person and modernize their operations, helping them to find new and better ways of doing business.
How does Square work to support businesses?
At Square, we believe no one should be left out of the economy because the cost is too great or the technology too complex so we build easy and integrated tools to empower and enrich people. We help Canadian business owners thrive by helping them operate more efficiently, better manage their cash flow and employees and connect with more buyers in-person, online and everywhere in between.
What changes have you seen this year with respect to SMBs and digital adoption?
The pandemic has had a profound impact on how businesses run. Many of those who didn’t have a digital presence before scrambled to create one during the pandemic, to not miss out on potential sales during an already precarious time for business owners. Others adapted by ramping up their online sales, offering contactless payment and pickup, and growing their social media following to retain and attract new customers. Restaurants pivoted to meet the moment and offered things like QR code menus instead of physical ones. Many business owners survived during the pandemic by using technology to offer the convenience and safety their customers wanted, while also streamlining their own operations to cut down on overhead.
Are there any trends you would want to make sure an SMB owner was paying attention to?
More than ever, SMB owners are catering to their customers’ specific needs in order to stay competitive, amongst their peers or big-box or chain operations. For example, offering same-day delivery is a way for local businesses to stand out and grow their customer base. Restaurants opening up ghost kitchens or pop-up locations is a trend likely to stick around post-COVID — restaurant owners are getting creative by cutting down on overhead and generating hype for their business by switching up their concept or menu offerings. Brick-and-mortar stores will continue to grow their eCommerce platforms to adapt to the increasingly digital selling landscape, and business owners will keep expanding their social media presence to strengthen their brand and attract new customers.
What is one piece of advice above and beyond anything mentioned that you would want to provide for SMB's generally.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of adaptability. Business owners that have made it through the turmoil of lockdowns, ever-changing restrictions and supply chain issues have risen to the occasion to meet their customers where they are. Whether selling groceries out of a bar, creating an online store, offering free local delivery, or giving away promotional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Canadian business owners have faced challenges with creative solutions, in order to survive. Local business owners would do well to adopt a business model that allows for flexibility, in order to be ready to pivot when necessary.
At Square, we build easy tools to empower and enrich people. We’re empowering electricians in Barrie, who can send digital invoices and take credit cards over the phone; salon owners in Kingston, who are able to have their clients schedule their appointments online and sell products online, too; and cafe owners in Calgary, who can set up curbside pickup and a customizable loyalty program. We’re here to help business owners start, run, adapt and grow their business, and we work to build an economy that lifts everyone up. All Canadian business owners can fairly participate in the economy with Square tools, and that means more people can succeed on their own terms.