When asked to name some small businesses in Kuwait that have moved on to become integral pillars in our society, the candidates are truly many. The sheer number of emerging restaurateurs, chefs, fashion designers and boutique owners, is astounding. The Insta-biz (businesses on the ever-so-powerful Instagram) is close to scary. So, if you’re a small start-up looking to get noticed, the challenges of breaking into the market can be overwhelming.
This is where Smallq8.com comes in: A website founded by Mohammad Al Jeraiwi, Hashim Bahbahani, and Mohammad Al Ali, it is completely dedicated to small business in Kuwait. Whether you’re a storeowner, or simply testing the market via an at-home business before undertaking a large investment, this is the platform for you.
As recent university graduates and small business entrepreneurs, the SmallQ8 family have closely seen and lived through the struggles and success needed to start a small business. Prior to returning to Kuwait, Hashim Bahbahani studied in the US, and saw how technology can significantly support and sustain young, small and medium businesses as he completed his studies in Finance. Mohammad Al Jeraiwi, also a recent graduate, completed his degree in Accounting from GUST University in 2013. The third founder, Mohammad Al Ali, who is a student at Kuwait University, clearly saw the vigor, enthusiasm, and passion that many young men and women in Kuwait have for entrepreneurship and innovation. Inspired by their experiences, the team gathered to create a website that would play a pivotal role in the growth and success of small businesses in Kuwait and the Gulf.
Launched in April of this year, SmallQ8 now includes around 70 small to medium businesses from 11 different categories. From food and photography, to clothing and accessories, your next session of retail therapy is completely covered by these guys. Their end goal is to grow alongside with the small businesses they have hosted online, especially with the added factor of online retail available on the website.
According to the founders, along with many young entrepreneurs, launching a small to medium business in Kuwait is made extremely difficult due to lengthy licensing processes or extremely high rental prices for commercial spaces. Resorting to the web as a retail outlet is the common alternative to owning a brick and mortar store. As a business owner, you might think that since Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Whatsapp, are social networking tools that are easily accessible, they should do the trick for your own business – and you’re not entirely wrong. However, it is worth noting that these platforms weren’t initially set up for business purposes, and the process of selling quickly becomes a lengthy and complicated one for the business owner and customers alike. You don’t need to ditch these tools, but you can further empower your business by utilizing the services offered by SmallQ8.
Give your small business idea its own mini website by using SmallQ8’s complete online ordering system to sell products online without having to spend thousands on creating a whole website. Not only is the service free for this period of time, orders are received through email and SMS messages assuring that for the small business owner the service is affordable and convenient. Another marketing aspect cleverly integrated is the notion of positioning. When you align your business with similar businesses, customers and online shoppers are encouraged to browse more, and ultimately shop more, from your mini-site and other people’s online stores as well. Successful positioning works. Always.
As an online shopper, how many times have you partaken in endless Instagram browsing only to find out much later that the product you wanted is ‘sold out’. Instead, products available for sale are arranged in an extremely user-friendly manner. Not only is the website mobile friendly, so you could shop while you’re on the go, you could even pay for your goods using cash or k-net.
For the near future, the SmallQ8 family plans to provide more solutions to business owners (solving the problem of delivery, utilizing mobile technology, etc) hoping that SmallQ8 can become a one-stop solution to the many problems faced by small businesses in Kuwait. Along with the continued support of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Kuwait in terms of relaying the needs of local business owners, the team has been adamant about connecting and solving any issues these young entrepreneurs face in their day-to-day business operations.
Beyond that, they aim to expand into other GCC countries. SmallQ8 will eventually turn into “SmallGulf”, and maybe even “SmallMiddleEast”. In fact, these young entrepreneurs don’t see a reason why they can’t, one day, deliver “SmallWorld”.
Get your business involved at www.smallq8.com, or contact the owners directly at c[email protected] or by calling 9774 4342.