Not selling small business services poor oversight. Small business is BIG business! Who hasn’t heard that statement? But have you really thought about the concept? It’s been around and it’s been used over and over and even if it does sound contradicting, it is the truth. You know this – not only does each of the small businesses provide their services, but they require just as many. Individually each one of them is probably not a company’s largest buyer, but collectively those businesses are a powerful force.
There are 550,000 new businesses started each MONTH in the US! Granted, a lot of them will fail, but hold on for each one of those businesses to get going, they need to write a business plan, incorporate, create a logo, create a website, open a line of credit, open up an office/retail space, equip that space, hire employees, pay them… the list of tasks is long and the dollar amount behind it is large. Take all those needs and multiply them through the number of startups and you see a multi-billion dollar effect. No wonder the government makes special effort to promote small business loan access, create tax breaks, allows for a favorable playing field to compete with the industry leaders.
Trying to Understand the Market
The newest trend by the large corporations is trying to accommodate these small businesses by providing products customized for them and trying to understand their needs (which credit card company doesn’t offer a Small Business card?). Well the corporations may be trying to understand the small established business, but they are still overlooking the startups. There is the stereotypical reason to overlook these cash-strapped startups that they don’t have money to spend. Well, the reality is they may be bootstrapping and cash may be very delicately calculated, but the entrepreneurs who are running those startups know that they have to spend money and know how to spend that money and they DO spend money.
Who gets it – other small businesses get it! So what needs to be understood about these entrepreneurs? The first thing that must be known is that just like any group of people can’t be defined by just one description. There are very savvy individuals who start companies, there are simpler-minded ones; there are ones with reserves, and ones without; there are patient, hardworking ones and impatient and lucky ones. That’s the first part, the second is that they are just like most well-informed consumers today, only they expect even more for even less. The lowest dollar, no matter how appealing, is not the answer if it does not provide a solution, so spending an appropriate amount of money is not out of the options.
Some of the entrepreneurs know that they need a website, but they don’t have $7,000 to spend on one; others know that they need a business plan to secure funding and ARE willing to spend $2,000 understanding the need that they have and the way they intend to alleviate their pain is the way to sell your service. They may shop around a lot longer, and come off as wasting too much of the vendor’s time, since finding that deal is so crucial to keeping costs down; they may barter, they may balk entirely but do know that if they engage you in a price quote and open a dialogue, they are not there to waste either your or their time for that matter they are there to buy.