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    2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2008 5:49 PM by Lighthouse24

    Can you leverage technology for new sales?

    OpenBook Newbie
      SMB Community,

      Are you leveraging technology to build your business? Or do you perceive it as a necessary evil of business operations? I was pondering this question, because I wanted to know if SMBs were ready for existing and new technologies to gain a competitive edge, particurlarly driving sales. Or if they were going to wait and see after the big boys have implemented "it" and expanded their market share and capabilities.

      How did the majority of your new customers find you last year? Did your operation have the technical tools to make it easier to do business with you? What do you think it will take for SMBs to invest in technologies, especially when they do not have the internal resources to implement them to pull the trigger?

        • Re: Can you leverage technology for new sales?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          OpenBook, Welcome to this web site. Interesting question
          How did the majority of your new customers find you last year?? Great question
          Small and medium enterprises or SMEs,

          In the United States, when small business
          is defined by the number of employees,
          it often refers to those with
          less than 100 employees, while medium-sized business
          often refers to
          those with less than 500 employees. However, the most widely usedAmerican definition of micro-business by the number of employees is less than 10 employees.


          • Re: Can you leverage technology for new sales?
            Lighthouse24 Ranger

            Are we using technology to build our business? Yes.

            How did the majority of our new customers find us last year? We identify, seek out, and initiate relationships with the individuals and businesses we can provide the most benefit and value to.

            Did we have the technical tools to make it easier to do business with us? We have the most important ones, I think -- but something new or better that we could use comes along every week!

            What will it take for SMBs to invest in technologies? I think most of them do now, at least to some degree (and many are willing to jump in long before the "big boys"). For owners who are not "tech savvy," one limiting factor to a greater investment may be that too many people are pushing too many things at them, and some of the pushers don't really know (or care) that much about their business or the application. With that atmophere, plus the very short "half-life" on most technology, many small business owners perpetually wait for the cheaper/better/faster thing that's only a month or two away.

            Owners who have already been on the "bleeding edge" a few times may perceive a different investment obstacle. They recognize that an investment in one new technology often requires an upgrade to four others, plus a sizable organization-wide commitment to learn and institutionalize the new solution. They're willing, but simply don't have the resources to invest in too many "adventures" at one time.

            A related problem is that new technologies (and technology-related services that small businesses could outsource) are often not scaled or priced properly when they first hit the market. For example, web hosting is one thing that IS scaled properly now (i.e., regardless of your needs or budget, you can find a cost-effective solution). Yet it didn't start out that way -- in the beginning, a small business had two basic web hosting options, one that was affordable and usually inadequate, and one that was hugely expensive and offered everything that was technically possible. There was no "in-between." When there's an emerging technology or service I'd like to leverage, but don't, that's usually the reason -- there's a $30/month "home" solution that falls way short, and a $3,000/month corporate solution that's way more than we need -- and little or nothing in between until the product gains traction in those higher margin arenas.

            Hope this provides some of the input you were seeking.
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