Anita Campbell: Small Businesses Are Not Homogenized Milk

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Anita-Campbell smallbiztrends at biztechdaysf (3) Anita Campbell from SmallBizTrends addressed the BizTechDay crowd this past weekend in San Francisco.

She starts with some stats on the small business/SMB market which she reminds gets labeled in countless ways depending on the source.

There are 27 million so-called small businesses in the U.S. alone, 21.4 million are single person or owner operators, not employees.

Of that 27 million, there are 5.4 million with 20 employees or under and 600K with 21-500 employees. In the marketplace, a lot of vendors define small business in different ways, as either less than 50 employees or less than 100 employees. Microsoft defines it as under 50 employees and SBA’s definition is between 500-1,000 but since this has to do with government contracting so it’s not really relevant.

SMB tends to mean 100 employees up to 500 or 1,000. The real emphasis is on the M which is mid-sized business. She says, “don’t get confused by the definition of small business, i.e., whether it’s an entrepreneur, a startup less than 5 years old, SMB (100-1,000 employees) or a micro-business. Tons of terms define small businesses.

But, she says, “small businesses are not homogenized milk.”  Some do’s and don’ts when target small businesses with your product or service:

DO: segment and define your target market by industries, behaviors, needs, size (employee and news) and age (startups versus mature busineses)

DON’T: assume small businesses are all the same. PRICE isn’t everything when targeting small businesses.

DO: be price sensitive; create migration path for companies

DON’T: assume price is everything, but do give them something back.

DO: appreciate sophistication

DON’T: stereotype by owners age or number of employees.

DO: make the sales price easy. Sell growth without expense. Do sell quality of life for owners/managers. And do demonstrate ROI.

DON’T: sell based on reducing staff, don’t use tech lingo or corporate speak. Don’t deliver lengthy proposals, reports and presentations. Keep in mind that their time is very limited.

She also gives the audience 17 places/ways to find and target small businesses

1. From other small businesses – referrals

2. Partners who already have small business customers

3. Trusted advisors, accountants, consultants, lawyers et al

4. Search engines

5. Evening TV – cable TV ads and drive time radio

6. Social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

7. Coaching/biz owner organizations (YEO, NAWBO)

8. Family members

9. Integrated solutions (see TheSmallBusinessweb.com)

10. Conferences

11. Social activities (church, children’s activities, sports)

12. Chamber of Commerce, i.e., Rotary (real estate)

13. Service on charity boards

14. Maintain connection with corporate coworkers

15. Networking events such as meet ups

16. Vertical industry associations

17. Online communities

Renee Blodgett
Founder
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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