The SMB sector in Australia is under more pressure than ever before. Issues of cash flow, profitability and productivity are ever present and are some of the biggest pain points for the majority of small business owners. In addition, the recently announced government cabinet line-up has added increasing demands to this sector by removing the small business portfolio from cabinet.
This move has sparked concerns from industry groups, including the Australian Retailers Association (ARA). “Given its important role within the economy, the omission of the small business portfolio from one of the largest cabinets in decades does not augur well,” ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman said.
“The exclusion of small business at a point when the economy needs business the most, is a step backwards.”
This does not mean that support for small business from government has disappeared, but the absence of an advocate for the small business community at a federal level, will leave many SMB owners and decision makers nervous in the face of an increasingly challenging market.
However, there is one issue that has, and will continue to, have more impact on the SMB sector than any of the aforementioned issues, time.
Pitching for the here and now
In light of this, organisations pitching to small business should offer solutions that will have positive outcomes for clients as a direct result of deployment and demonstrate immediate value. Saving time-poor managers and owners hours - or even minutes - will always be looked upon favourably.
SMBs don’t have many long term plans, as one small business owner out of the US famously noted: “Small business owners would love to have a three-year and five-year plan, but the reality is we often have a one-week plan and it’s a rough draft.”
SMB owners will be the first to admit that this is by no means an ideal situation but as research suggests [link to first brand post], purchasing decisions in the print and imaging space are made predominantly on the basis of refresh cycles and poor performance of existing technology, or to put it simply, keeping the lights on.
Brother has a range of print and imaging solutions to cater to the needs of any small business, no matter what industry they operate in. These solutions will approve efficiency now and offer immediate, tangible benefit which partners can build on.
If you are pitching return on investment (ROI) for the long run to small businesses, you may be restricting your opportunities to the larger scale SMBs out there. Further, these are companies which are either on the cusp of the mid-market, or soon will be, and have vastly different needs to smaller organisations.
These smaller organisations do not respond well to future ROI messages or value received over time as they are predominantly concerned with addressing problems which affect their business immediately.
Planning for future possibilities or challenges is a fantastic way to increase stickiness with existing customers that have trust in a partner based on past successes, but it is not the most effective way to build trust in the early stages of a relationship.
In the case of print and imaging solutions, offering best of breed solutions like those from Brother, resellers will be able to address the immediate need of the customers to build a foundation of trust and create a platform for future sales.
This approach will position the partner as a trusted advisor within the small business. Research from Brother shows that SMB decision makers lean on these trusted advisors far more than their counterparts in the mid-market or enterprise. The trusted advisor will always be the first point of call for the SMB decision maker looking to address a pain point.
Fixing a problem that the SMB decision maker has today is far more effective than talking about potential problems that they may face in the future. Their time is valuable as is that of the partner, hence maximising time with effective technologies will benefit both parties to get the result they require to achieve maximum gain with minimum effort.
Head to the Brother website to find out more about maximising time through innovation for you and your customers.