November 23, 2020
This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday, where we take the time to support these smaller local enterprises during the holiday season's kickoff. Considered to be the backbone of the American economy, the U.S. is home to more than 31 million small businesses that collectively employ nearly 61 million workers, or roughly half of the private-sector workforce. In 2019, small businesses created 1.6 million net new jobs, with firms employing fewer than 20 workers seeing the largest gains.
Small business success is a key factor in the health of the U.S. economy – and it’s not easy for them, particularly these days. Starting a small business often requires placing working capital into purchasing or leasing equipment, securing a physical location, and other critical tasks. Though the checklist to launch can be daunting, there are a host of large companies in the business of supplying and supporting their smaller counterparts.
The ODP Corporation (Tii:ODP)
Every office will need supplies, whether it is paper, toner, writing utensils, filing folders and cabinets. To find all these products at one location, Office Depot can provide all the supplies and equipment that small businesses need. A subsidiary of the ODP Corporation, Office Depot shares have climbed 26.7% over recent weeks. If you only have an Office Max in your neighborhood, don't worry. It is also an ODP Corporation subsidiary and is now a part of the Office Depot brand.
Knoll, Inc. (Tii:KNL)
Every small business requires office furniture, even when employees work from home, and Knoll has been supplying these wares since 1938. The company offers desks, chairs, storage systems and workplace collections to outfit the office fully. While Knoll shares have fallen slightly, its retail sales have increased by 5.1% over the last three months. Companies such as Office Furniture Liquidations are opening new luxury showrooms to feature Knoll's brands.
Dell Technologies Inc. (Tii:DELL)
Computer systems, hardware and accessories will ensure your staff can work productively throughout the day. Dell offers computers, monitors, laptops, network servers and other computing systems for small, medium, and large corporations. They also offer tech support and repair if their equipment malfunctions. Even though Dell posted a 4% decline in revenue when compared to the year-ago quarter, the company has good news on the horizon. Dell recently announced plans to team up with Switch Inc. (Tii:SWCH) and FedEx Corp. (Tii:FDX) to create a network of multi-cloud edge computing sites. This feature will boost computing performance and may offer a more competitive environment for small enterprises.
Intuit Inc. (Tii:INTU)
Once you have the computers and laptops, you may need the software to handle sales reporting, invoicing vendors, and managing the data used throughout your venture. Many accounting software firms offer services both on networks and over the cloud, providing small businesses with cost-effective options and plan packages based on the number of users there will be. QuickBooks can help small businesses by providing accounting software and support. Developed by Intuit, the accounting applications are designed for small and medium businesses.
CDW Corporation (Tii:CDW)
One cannot afford to overlook a small business’ telecommunication needs to interact with clients, provide customer service, and contact other departments to coordinate team projects. CDW offers communications systems, hardware, software, and network security services. The company currently has a good price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of 21.99 and price/earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio of 1.68%.
Positioning your small enterprise for success requires all the administrative products that can help streamline work tasks. These and other companies provide a host of small business equipment and solutions to prepare your venture to compete.