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What is the the Small Business Innovation Spotlight? A weekly newsletter featuring a real small business with a real problem. Have a solution? If you decide to build a solution for a featured small business problem, we’ll help you get in touch with the small business owner, and potentially feature you on apps.com and more.

Small Business Innovation Spotlight: Meet The Mtn. View General Store

Tell us a little bit about your business.

mtviewgeneralstoreWe are The Mt. View General Store, a small shop in downtown Mtn. View where local artists sell their creations on consignment. Also, the only stop for all things Mtn. View. Souvenirs, shirts, bumper stickers. We just entered our third year of business. The thing I love the most is supporting local artists and exposing their work to the public. www.themvgs.com.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in trying to manage your business?
The biggest challenge is indeed getting customers to the store. I have consciously  avoided paying for ad space and instead, created my own method of acquiring  customers locally. Small figurines are placed around town in places like park benches, the bottoms of trees, in flower pots etc., that direct the finder to return the object to the store and they are rewarded with free candy or a discount on merchandise they purchase. Social Media also helps.

 

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How many different software solutions do you use to run your business?
Presently only using QuickBooks (QB) Online and my POS system that tracks sales and inventory.

How much time do you spend working online in a typical business day?
I don’t have a lot of time during the day to work online.

Do you currently use any mobile apps to run your business?
I use the mobile app for my POS system that shows a dashboard of the day’s sales. I also just installed the QB app but have not used it much yet.

What features of your current small business software do you love?
I like the snapshot feature on my POS.

What features of your current small business software do you hate?
I hate that the two programs can’t talk to each other fully.

What would an ideal software solution for your business look like?
Ideally, I would like to have a program that could be tailored to my business. The programs (POS, QB, and Bank) would all talk to each other and there would be one central place to find all information needed.

How much, if anything, would you pay for this solution?
I would prefer not to pay additional costs for a program I already purchased. But, if it performed the way I needed, I would be ok with a minimal monthly fee, no more than $10.

Do you have any additional thoughts you’d like to share?
I think it’s fantastic that Intuit is trying to be a resource for small businesses. It would be great if QuickBooks could be customized for my business model.

Learn more about how you can solve small business problems. 

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Sara Sonnen Sara Sonnen
Sara is the Email Marketing Manager at Techstars. Previously, Sara was the Email Marketing Manager at UPGlobal before Techstars acquired the company in 2015. Sara graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism and Business Administration from Washington State University.