Archive for February, 2010

Why Focus on Selling to Small Business?

February 21, 2010

Small business has long been the back-bone of our country. Immigrants have started their own businesses. Entrepreneurs have created great wealth, think Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg, among others. Small business, working in or owning one, is a viable alternative to working in medium- and large-size companies.
Whether we are in a boom or bust period, small businesses grow. In tough times, big companies lay-off workers, many of those laid-off join small businesses are start their own business. And, mid-size companies often merge to grow, again laying-off employees and a duplication or elimination of suppliers becomes the norm. Where should businesses, of any size, turn to grow? Small Business.
There are an estimated 27.2 million small businesses in the United States according to the latest figures from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Here are just two facts* about small businesses:
• Create more than half of non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP).
• Generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.
Small business people are hard-working and optimistic. But they often have a shortage of time and money. In fact, many go out of business due to cash flow problems. So when selling to a small business it is important to be cognizant of the small business person’s time and money.
Time: promote how your offering will save the small business time. Does it streamline a process? Does the small business outsource it? Saving time translates into money.
Money: emphasize how your offering will save the small business or help it manage its cash flow. Are payments delayed or pay as you go? Is there a discount, perhaps based on volume or usage?
To reinforce the time and/or money savings a third party endorsement by another small business helps, a lot.
For additional ideas on reaching this growing, potentially lucrative market, it is necessary to understand how this sector differs from the larger organizations in order to successfully market and sell to the small business buyer.
In THE JANUS PRINCIPLE: Focusing Your Company on Selling to Small Business, my co-author, Don Mazzella, and I offer sales and marketing executives practical advice on identifying and reaching small business buyers, as well as how to align their organization to best reach this large, powerful small business market.

* Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census; U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey.