Kwikset Commercial Grade Lever

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Kwikset Commercial Grade Lever - Purchase Process

We were unable to provide the purchase process or decision maker responsible for purchasing electronic door levers for a small business, as such information is not publicly available. However, we identified the steps involved in the purchasing process of an organization to include problem identification, need description, product specification, search for a potential supplier, evaluation & selection, establishing credit & order specification, and finally, a performance review. The research strategy below explains the processes used in trying to obtain the information, and the research brief contains further details of our helpful findings.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began our research by looking for articles regarding the purchase process flow of office upgrades for small business owners from sites such as Chron.com and Business Know-How, among others. The idea was that since these sites give information on how to run and operate a small business, they may have published the information for office upgrades like light switches, replacing paper towel dispensers, new phones, etc. However, this strategy did not provide the required answers; the articles that we found only provided information about the steps involved in a business organizations' purchasing process.
Next, we looked for survey reports for the requested topic on sites like Concordia University St. Paul Online and The Alternative Board, among others. We looked into these sites because they usually provide various studies that also include a survey of a sample population with questions, which are answered by them. Hence, we thought that such research papers could be used if there was any research regarding the purchase process followed by the decision maker responsible for purchasing electronic door levers or other related office upgrades for small businesses. Instead, we found information about how business owners make buying decisions, factors considered by small businesses when making tech purchase decisions, etc.
Lastly, we searched for information on how small business owners purchase the products of Schlage and other companies. We checked the official website of Schlage, United Locksmith, Marketing Teacher, among others, but we did not find any such information. The report found on the last mentioned site was about the general process of the buying decision process for business owners, and was not specific to the electronic door levers or other related products. We had anticipated that there might be publications about the decision maker in purchasing such products, or the process involved, which we would have used as a proxy for electronic door levers.

STEPS INVOLVED IN THE PURCHASING PROCESS OF AN ORGANIZATION

An organization's decision to purchase an item(s) follows the following purchase process:
PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
Identifying a problem marks the first stage of the purchasing process, in which an individual or the management of the organization discovers a problem that can be solved by making a purchase.
NEED DESCRIPTION
After identifying the problem, the organization has to determine the required product/service to use.
PRODUCT SPECIFICATION
After a consensus has been reached by the people in-charged of making the purchasing decisions regarding the need for the purchase of a product, they will then streamline their options by stating the requirements of the product they wish to purchase.
SEARCH FOR A POTENTIAL SUPPLIER
Next, the organization has to carry out a thorough search for potential suppliers of the product, to determine their credibility, financial stability, as well as their potential for futuristic business. However, in the event of a large purchase, the organization will request proposals from the suppliers.
EVALUATION AND SELECTION
After establishing a base of trustworthy suppliers, the purchasing entity will evaluate their proposals (in the case that there is one), and prices, then select the best quality and price.
ESTABLISHING CREDIT AND ORDER SPECIFICATION
Once a choice for the supplier has been agreed upon, the organization will make their order in terms of quantity, and this may involve making payment to the supplier, terms agreement, etc.
PERFORMANCE REVIEW
The last stage of the purchasing process occurs after the organization receives the package. The organization will check to see if the product is tailored to acceptable standards, and this may influence further business with the supplier.

OTHER HELPFUL FINDINGS

The steps involved in the decision-making of an organization include process that identifies the decision, gathers information, identifies alternatives, weighs the evidence, chooses among other options, takes action, and finally, reviews the decision.
Small business owners make quick purchasing decisions, and when in the process of evaluating a new product or service for purchase, they prefer to be informed about it from vendor representatives, the company's website, or in a conversation with a colleague. This analysis is evident from the fact that 46% of small business owners would rather be educated about a product/service from a vendor and 29% use the product company's website. In establishing contact with them, business owners prefer that vendors use email or a phone call. However, most business owners would prefer not to be contacted at all.
For tech marketers whose target is small businesses, they need to focus on the owners, as 83% of small enterprises do not have an IT staff, and 72% of owners handle their tech purchase decisions by themselves.
The buyer decision process is classified into problem recognition, search for information, evaluation of available alternatives, supplier and final product/services selection, and post-purchase evaluation/review.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Kwikset Commercial Grade Lever - Small Business Owner Media Consumption

The typical small business decision maker in the United States consumes the media through the following channels: social media, magazines, websites, events, forums, and blogs. Below is a deep dive into our findings.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

According to a Digital Marketing Survey done by Clutch in 2017, 48% of small business owners were using social media for their businesses before 2016 while 28% of the respondents started using social media in 2016. This means that 76% of the small business owners were using social media for their businesses in 2017. According to PR Newswire, 77% of small business owners in the US use social media for vital business functions like sales, marketing, and customer service. The following are the social media platforms that are popular among small business owners.

FACEBOOK

The Clutch Digital Marketing Survey found that 91% of the survey respondents (small business owners) use Facebook and 95% planned to increase their investments on Facebook in 2017.

TWITTER

From the Clutch survey, 55% of the small business owners surveyed use Twitter for their businesses and 57% of the respondents planned to increase their investments on Twitter in 2017.

INSTAGRAM

According to the Clutch Digital Marketing survey, 52% of small business owners were using Instagram for their businesses and 57% of the respondents had plans to increase their expenditure on Instagram. Instagram ads are a good choice for B2B since they integrate with Facebook ads and they can specifically target users using details like age, job, and the geographic location.

GOOGLE +

From the survey, 47% of the small business owners are on Google+ and they use it for their businesses and 53% planned to increase their investments on this platform.

YOUTUBE

The Clutch survey also revealed that 44% of the respondents (small business owners) use YouTube for their businesses and 47% of them had plans to increase their investments on YouTube.

LINKEDIN

Of all the small business owners surveyed by Clutch, 29% use LinkedIn for their businesses and 35% planned to increase investments on this social media channel.

magazines

According to All You Can Read, the following are the best small business magazines that may attract small business decision makers looking for answers and cooperation.

WIRED

Wired is a popular tech magazine that touches on matters regarding tech and how the tech trends relate to other aspects of life including small businesses and it's a good magazine for an entrepreneur and a technology enthusiast.

ENTREPRENEUR

The Entrepreneur magazine offers advice on venturing into a business, sustaining it and running it successfully.

INC.

Inc. publishes holistic articles on entrepreneurship including tips on how to speak efficiently in public. Inc. also publishes profiles of successful small businesses. Inc. is important to a small business owner because the articles may help him improve the business.

FAST COMPANY

Fast Company covers the latest trends in business and helps entrepreneurs create a fresh approach to business.

HOME BUSINESS

Home Business has great advice for small business owners who are starting their businesses from their homes on how they can grow their business.

FRANCHISE TIMES

Franchise times provides content that aims to guide and inspire small franchise owners.

SUCCESS

Success magazine prides itself in providing small business owners with a wealth of information that helps them achieve their full business potential.

Other magazines that attract small business owners in the US are Investors Digest, Handmade Business, and Business Franchise.

WEBSITES

According to Fundera, the following are the best small business websites that may attract small business decision makers looking for answers and cooperation.

MEETUP.COM

Meetup.com makes it easy for entrepreneurs to find and connect with other small business owners near them for meetups.

SMALL BUSINESS EXPO

Conferences such as the Small Business Expo are ideal for "structured sessions of learning".

EVENTS

US small business owners are attracted by the following events:

WOMEN’S BUSINESS ENTERPRISE NATIONAL COUNCIL

Female business owners look for advice and guidance at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

LAUNCH FESTIVAL

Launch Festival is a conference for small business owners and budding entrepreneurs who want to start small businesses. They meet and learn from their peers and other experienced speakers.

AMERICA’S SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT

The America Small Business Summit brings together small business owners to discuss their problems and brainstorm on the possible solutions as they award small business owners. The small business owners also get advice to help them run their businesses successfully.

FORUMS

According to Fundera, the following are the forums that attract small business owners:

SMALL BUSINESS FORUM.NET

Regardless of the industry the small business operates in, or the experience of its owner, they can leverage this forum with over 20,000 members to get advice for small businesses.

SMALL BUSINESS FORUMS.ORG

This forum is another big and active community of small business owners offering advice for small businesses.

SMALL BUSINESS BRIEF

This forum allows small business owners to share their ideas or get some business advice from fellow small business owners.

WARRIOR FORUM

This forum helps entrepreneurs interested in e-commerce to browse and read on topics and advice related to e-commerce.

STARTUPNATION

This forum gives small business owners invaluable business advice on how to work from home, how to deal with public relations, how to raise funding, and how to choose the right business.

ALIGNABLE

This forum allows entrepreneurs to cultivate good relationships with other small business owners and plan for actual meetups.

BLOGS

SMALL BIZ CLUB

This blog gives small business owners answers to the most pertinent questions on running a small business.

BUSINESS BANTER

This blog has animated films and funny articles that may be useful to the small business owner who wants to incorporate humor into the business.

LOCATION 180

This blog gives great business advice to entrepreneurs in order to inspire them.

MARIE FORLEO

A small business entrepreneurship blog.

INNERPRENEUR

This is a blog run by Tara Joyce where she shares her thoughts on what it feels like to be an entrepreneur.

BLOGTREPRENEUR

This blog has product recommendations, successful marketing techniques, and motivational guides.

According to expert suggestions, the following are the best ways to reach the typical small business owner in the US:

When the small business decision makers describe themselves, they do not use terms like microbusiness, SOHO, mid-sized or SMB. In order to reach small businesses better, a marketer has to use the terms used by small business owners, not acronyms they have no idea about.
To sell to small business owners, it is important that the message and visual identity reveal that the company is not a big corporate.
Small businesses love working within networks because they offer safety and it's easier to sell with good networking.
  • Make sale appointments
Use video ads that will lead to sales appointments.

Sources
Sources

From Part 02