Here is another in our ongoing series of articles about things going on around Rochester.
A significant portion of entrepreneurs in New York believe that their business isn’t going anywhere, says a new report generated by American Express. Nearly 30% of those surveyed said that they were at the head of a sinking ship, while 55% of small-business owners surveyed said that the economy stresses them out.
The business landscape is highly competitive and constantly changing, which can make it difficult for entrepreneurs, both new and experienced, to thrive. The environment has changed so much so that golf, the sport that has been synonymous with business for decades, is getting pushed to the side. Now, business people are hopping on their bikes to bring corporate activities outdoors.
“Unlike golf, cycling is also a great equalizer,” said League of American Bicyclists President, Andy Clarke. “You’re the same as the person riding next to you. So it makes people more approachable. “
Jason Kayzar, who founded the Midwest Cycling Network in 2007 to provide an alternative to 18 holes added that it was a more informal way for people to get together. “Unlike golf, we’re not committing to a couple of hours and all kinds of expenses just to network,” he said. “This is a free gathering, very informal and you’re done in 2 hours.”
And, of course, riding a bike around town is far better exercise than driving around in a golf cart.
“It’s a better cardio workout. You can get a great ride done in one to two hours as opposed to hours on a golf course,” said Spy Optic CEO Michael Marckx. “And you can actively network with more people.”
But the way business people exercise is hardly the only change that has been made in previous years. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the way companies need to market and advertise is drastically different than in the past.
Today, 80% of consumers aged 18-34 use search engines to find the products they are thinking about buying. As a result, traditional print advertising techniques are largely being replaced by digital campaigns and social media efforts. With that in mind, entrepreneurs worried about their business failing might want to consider investing more resources in new, more contemporary, strategies.
Though almost a third of New York entrepreneurs have concerns, overall, the outlook is positive. According to the survey, 43% have capital investment plans and 64% expressed confidence in accessing the capital they need to grow. And roughly 70% said they were very happy with their lives.
As networking shifts from golf carts to bicycles and advertising moves from magazines to social media, one thing that will not change is that entrepreneurs need to stay a step ahead of the competition to ensure long-term success.