Profit Minded

Who would win the Small Business Bracket?

Infographic: Radius. Click on image to enlarge.

What if there were March Madness playoffs for small businesses? We asked Darren Waddell, VP of Marketing at Radius, to show us what his bracket would look like. Waddell dove into the massive Radius databank, which indexes information about small businesses all over the country. Based on aggregated customer ratings available from sources such as Yelp, Citysearch, Open Table, and others, Waddell ranked the performance of small businesses in each of the college towns that host teams that made it into the NCAA Sweet 16. Since some rating systems use 4 stars and others 5, Waddell normalized for that.

The scores aren’t necessarily predictors of profitability, Waddell points out. “They’re more about performance—the business patrons’ satisfaction with customer service, the quality of the product or craftsmanship, and the trustworthiness of the business,” he says.

With 6 percent of its businesses getting 4 and 5 star ratings, Michigan’s Ann Arbor is top-ranked for happy customers—making it the only town with top-rated businesses and a Final Four basketball team this year.

Only 2 percent of small businesses in the other three NCAA Final Four towns—Louisville, Wichita, and Syracuse—get high online marks from consumers. Maybe folks in those towns are too busy watching basketball to comment.

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