In the New York market The Small Business Authority started advertising on WABC Radio and offered a range of financial services. Recently their advertising has shifted and now they are offering “cloud services”.
Chase (yep – a bank) is now offering small business e-commerce services – to help entrepreneurs sell online. Pitney Bowes, known for its mail services recently started advertising “cloud based email services” (in addition to its existing email marketing services). Verizon has been offering Intuit’s web creation services for several months.
Vendors who traditionally have offered one type of core services, such as telecommunications, posted, etc – are now able to partner with other vendors and offer a variety of other, most cloud based, services.
For example, what if your local baker, due to a partnership with UPS started offering UPS shipping services. Know what I mean?
These expansion of options are a good thing – as you have CHOICE.
But they are also challenging as some services are quality and offer good support, while other services might not be so great or might come with low quality support.
You’ll see more vendors offering email marketing, web hosting, online marketing and a range of other services. Some of the vendors will offer these services direct from themselves, others will white label the services of partners and others will offer them as a co-marketing effort with partners.
Although I’m sure many reading this already have a variety of email, web site and other services, many of you might be looking to switch services or purchase a service for the first time.
Choose your vendor carefully.
Here’s a few things to consider:
- How long has the vendor been in business
- How good is their support
- How feature rich is their offering
- Can their service grow with your business
Another thing to keep in mind, some companies such as Deluxe (for example) are experts in online marketing services. Other companies, such as maybe your phone company are only providing these services, for the most part, from other vendors. It’s important to choose a vendor that has a track record of dedication of commitment to the services they are offering.
Going back to my baker example – who would you want to have send your package.
The baker, who just inked a deal to sell UPS services, or through UPS direct?