Albert's Posts - Albert's Site
My name is Albert
Selling to small business starts with the proposition that you want to sell to this market. This may sound self-evident in a blog about selling to small business but let us consider this concept for a second.
Just because there are millions of small businesses, does that necessarily mean that every B2B should target this sector? The answer may not always be a "yes." For example, I understand that Research in Motion found initial success selling to institutional clients before moving downstream to the SME and now the consumer market. Conversely, based upon anecdotal evidence, SME's were the first segment to adopt Skype for commercial purposes.
Why did the SME market adopt one immediately and not the other? It cannot be industry driven since, coming from a
Skype, on the other hand, was adopted quickly because it was free, it could be discarded quickly and it solved many of the SME's daily challenges (save me time, make it easy to use and make it affordable).
The point being is that if you are Research in Motion and you need to make money quickly to pay for lots of R & D costs, your strategy is not to target the SME market until you are firmly planted on your feet financially.
At the end of the day, selling to small business can be challenging and requires a significant amount of patience. The industries are diverse, the players are fluid and there are geographic boundaries to consider (most institutions cluster in downtown cores or suburban campuses, SME's are more scattered). Think carefully whether you want to target small businesses. There may be a lot of SME's but not every business at every stage of its life should be selling to small business.
Having said that, selling to small businesses can be a rewarding and exciting experience. However, it is not for everyone. If you are committed, patient and persistent, you will do well. Know thy business and plan accordingly.