Companies That Help Small Businesses – News > All_About_ > Corporation and ASKUL group company join forces to help small businesses solve their problems with digital solutions
ASKUL Corporation President and CEO Akira Yoshioka and Corporation CEO and CEO Yasyuki Imai introduce Biz-Raku, a new business for small and medium enterprises
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As reported by News in May 2022, Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) announced that its Enterprise business unit is expanding beyond large companies to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as part of its growth strategy. In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, it concluded transactions with 94% of large corporate companies, while in contrast it cooperated with about 10% of the SME market. Therefore, expanding the SME customer base is an opportunity to increase sales for enterprises.
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The business unit of the enterprise, led by Representative Director and CEO Yasyuki Imai, is currently working to cultivate relationships with small and medium-sized enterprises. One way to do this is to work with group companies with large SME clients. One of such group companies is ASKUL Corporation.
ASKUL has been providing workplace products and services to SMEs in many industries for over 20 years. The company operates a shipping site aimed at SMB customers, and as of February 2022 had 9.5 million items listed. In addition to office supplies, customers in the medical and nursing industries can also use ASKUL to purchase pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.
ASKUL also runs LOHACO, a consumer shopping website that provides daily necessities. LOHACO offers affordable prices and fast delivery of groceries, kitchen utensils, medicines, cosmetics and other goods around the clock. At the time of writing, the number of LOHACO customers exceeds 8.5 million.
At the press conference held on October 31, 2022, ASKUL held a press conference in Tokyo to showcase the business line in partnership with . Nicknamed “Biz-Raku” (which means “making business easier” in Japanese), ASKUL President and CEO Akira Yoshioka explained that the new business solution harnesses the power of digital technology to solve business problems faced by small and medium enterprises. The Biz-Raku website offers carefully selected software as a service (SaaS) and telecommunications products and services that SMEs need to digitally transform their business.
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While large companies in Japan have made progress in developing online remote working environments, the adoption rate of remote working among small and medium enterprises remains low at around 30%. In addition, SMEs face, for example, labor shortages and increased workloads to meet statutory checks on invoicing systems. While the need to digitize work processes is growing, many small and medium-sized enterprises are struggling with the lack of their own IT staff and appropriate digital tools.
In partnership with , ASKUL selected easy-to-use products and services to meet the needs of SME customers, including communication products such as smartphones, Wi-Fi connectivity, groupware and information security. Marketing and systems development specialists provide expertise in customer service. SB Engineering Corp., a company from the Corp. group, provides IT support for Biz-Rak so that small and medium enterprises can solve problems related to IT systems.
As a comprehensive support service, Biz-Raku offers free consultations and support – from product launch to after-sales service – in accordance with the content of the consultation with the client.
At the press conference, CEO Yasyuki Imai explained that Biz-Raku’s proposal came from ASKUL at a group company meeting to discuss ways to create group synergies. “We were very interested in the project after it was proposed by ASKUL and we would like to contribute to the digitization of SMEs together with ASKUL, which is strong in this customer segment,” he said.
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When asked what sets Biz-Raku apart from other SME service offerings, Imai said ASKUL already has a huge customer base to connect with. Instead of presenting specific products, which is common in sales conversations, the conversation will start by listening to what problems SME customers face.
ASKUL will continue to promote the digitization of SMEs by further expanding their products and services to meet customer needs and evolving ways of working.
IoT VR 5G AI Smartphones HAWKS Basketball Earnings General Meeting Press conferences Masayoshi Sin Working style Network range The COVID-19 pandemic has caused irreparable damage – both financial and health. Thousands of small businesses have been forced to close their shops for good. These business owners are your neighbors, co-workers, friends and family. An unpredictable global crisis has unfairly put an end to their dreams and livelihoods.
Unfortunately, we are still in the midst of a pandemic and companies are still struggling to make ends meet. Paying rent, downsizing and excess inventory are still some of the daily problems these companies are trying to solve. However, this pandemic has also brought out the best in many of us – asking how we can support these local and independent shops… As pillars of any community, the success and stability of small businesses is best in their neighbors.
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As a result, many Americans have made a concerted effort to shop locally and support these small businesses financially during this time. However, you may not be able to buy or afford the extra expenses at this time. No problem! There are even more ways we can all support small businesses without spending a dime.
Taking a few moments to help the sellers in your community is an investment in the prosperity of your city, as well as in keeping the dreams of countless entrepreneurs alive.
Reviews are important and people pay attention to them! Words are powerful enough to influence a potential customer’s decision – yes, your words can make or break a sale. Writing a positive review on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or any other popular platform can add great value to local businesses… not to mention that these kind words can boost a company’s morale and brighten a person’s day unexpectedly.
Redirecting links sounds simple, but it’s effective. Copying and pasting a link on your small business homepage or a link to a product page and then sharing it in an email, group chat or Facebook wall can do great things. Internet traffic is a big factor in attracting customers, closing sales and improving search engine rankings. What many small businesses need is greater local visibility. Sharing links to their websites on your network can start a chain reaction of bringing new customers to their new favorite store.
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Word of mouth still matters. Maybe you know a friend who needs care for their anniversary, or you have a friend who is looking for a new exercise bike – use your relationship with them to stand up for a local company you know and trust to solve their problem. As humans, we often still value the opinion of those close to us. A small business endorsement in your community can encourage people around you to check them out.
We live in a world of digital media. The vast majority of today’s businesses rely on their social media to some extent to build brand awareness, improve customer relationships, and nurture leads. However, social media marketing is not always easy as the market is often saturated with competition and difficult to solve by an algorithm. Engagement is one of the main factors that platforms use to promote and increase profile visibility. Also, people are more likely to pay attention to or interact with social networking sites that have an active community of users. Therefore, leaving a nice comment under a company’s latest Instagram post or sharing an update on their Facebook status can go a long way towards growing their online presence.
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