I have been a serial entrepreneur in tech, and I have had the opportunity to ride the waves in many business areas. I have learned many things along the way. Some of these are what is driving me to shift my focus to the SMB market.
If you have been focusing on B2B, there are many reasons to consider SMB. It took me far too long to realize a conviction that I had long ago about this market.
Here are five key tips for making sure your investments in SMBs are successful if you are considering investing.
1. Don’t be misled: SMBs are not smaller versions of B2Bs
Don’t think you can scale down your B2B strategies to appeal to small businesses. This is not the way it works. They have different needs and structures.
The B2B market requires high-touch service. People don’t want to be able to do business on their own. They need a representative who can answer the phone and give them as much information as they want. You will probably have fewer customers in B2B and more expensive services.
SMBs are not affected by this. While customers still expect excellent service, they prefer to access information at their own pace and at a lower price. SMBs don’t often have IT departments. They have many people who do multiple jobs. They are poised for self-service.
An SMB business has a lower tolerance for poor performance. It’s easier to call the SMB and fix the problem or train the employee. This is a difficult task to scale up, as B2Bs have found. It is more difficult for companies to retain buy-in at all levels of the organization and across all departments.
Also read: How SMBs Can Utilize Video Marketing to Increase Their Revenue
2. Lock in your leadership
My team learned a lot about leadership through the transition to SMBs. We didn’t want too many cooks in our kitchen. While we experienced some losses, once we had established a strong leader within our SMB arm, we were able to lock in strong regional leaders. This was key to our success.
3. Be nimble
Although B2Bs love lengthy, complex vetting processes it is not always a good idea to invest in risk management. A smaller company can move much faster while still making the same decision.
Although the red tape was originally created to serve a purpose, it can sometimes get extended to other areas and end up costing a lot more than it is worth.
4. While scaling globally, think locally
There are 400 million SMBs in the world. This is a large market with a lot of diversity. You need to narrow your focus and decide where you want to be the most attractive in a highly competitive market. To propel your success, you should keep the following in mind:
- To manage your SMBs, create a separate business unit.
- Although it can be difficult to create a competent help desk, it is worth the effort.
- Distribute your decision-making. Do not rely on global leaders. Ensure that you have local leaders in all areas, particularly sales and marketing.
- Minding cultural nuances is so important. You will encounter different laws, business practices, and payment systems when you navigate between languages and cultures. You should be aware of these differences so that you can adjust your business to match them.
Also read: 5 Easy Tips to Increase Valuing Your Small Business
5. Adapt, and then adapt again
Respect differences within your team and keep an open mind. This allowed me to find better leaders and talent than I would have if I tried to control everything. Although I’m used to solving problems, in this instance, I presented the model. Leaders were also able to create solutions.
Learn from your mistakes. Be willing to make mistakes. Business is a machine that uses negativity to find balance. You can consider failures as stepping stones to your success, and you can go after your dreams. Recognize that the business landscape is constantly changing and that some functions can be better handled by specialists or small groups. Entrepreneurial spirit? Now is the right time to jump.
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