by Melissa Cumming, MD of Bloomable

The power of small business networks

How the collective power of small businesses can compete with the giants of industry

Melissa Cumming.jpg

Valentine’s Day for florists and other retailers is one of the biggest sales days of the year, but it also has the potential to be disastrous. More orders can mean more potential to fail to deliver on brand promises. You can run out of stock, get orders confused and quality control can sometimes drop off the radar. These are some of the reasons we wholeheartedly believe in our business model that connects small businesses in such a way that they create a network where the collective is stronger than each individual part. 

This past Valentine’s Day proves this, with our network achieving a 97.5% success rate on our busiest day of the year, and we have only been able to achieve this is due to our marketplace partners. Bloomable has a network of small businesses, with each responsible for their own local delivery. This network essentially creates hundreds of ports of call, all across the country and it scales easily with very few hiccups. This is why we were one of the few businesses able to deliver same-day orders on Valentine’s Day. So from a customer perspective, our decentralised model is highly beneficial. But the major benefit, is to the small businesses themselves.

Just a week before Valentine’s Day, the President delivered his State of the Nation Address (Bloomable was incredibly proud to be chosen to supply the fresh flowers for SONA) where he highlighted the critical importance of growing small businesses as a way to create real jobs that grow the economy. We’ve had florists say that they would have had to close shop years ago if it weren’t for the Bloomable platform. Some of our partners receive 80% of their business from our marketplace, so we know that they will work hard to meet customer expectations, because it directly benefits their business. It’s a truly synergistic relationship that drives local job growth and stimulates the local economy, while providing customers with a nationwide flower and gift delivery service that meets their needs.

Small businesses are critical to growing the South African economy, and we’ve also noticed that customers are starting to become more selective about their purchases. For example, they’re moving towards choosing companies that are ethical, sustainable and that support local enterprises. By tapping into the collective power of small businesses, we have the opportunity to have a tangible positive effect on our Country, all whilst ensuring customer satisfaction come rain or shine.

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