(see the end of this post for video from Partnercon)
Clate Mask, co-founder and CEO of Infusionsoft has kicked off the 3 day conference and spoke about why the acronym “SMB” that so many vendors use (but small businesses never use) is a “lie”.
He explained that Infusionsoft LOVES true small businesses – those solo businesses with one employee who rely on 1099′s to GROW, those small businesses, with 3 or 5 employees who are GROWING. This is the market Infusionsoft is after – explained Clate.
Clate explained that many vendors use “SMB” and they really don’t want very small businesses, like Infusionsoft wants. They really want larger small businesses – maybe those with 20, 50 or 150 employees. While these businesses are awesome and indeed are small compared to the fortune 500, Infusionsoft is one of the few companies that LOVE and really CATER to these TRUE small businesses.
So what does this mean to you?
If you’re a small business, and I mean, “really” a small business owner and you’re looking for companies who not only say they love you but SHOW YOU they love you, here’s a few things to consider:
1. Do they offer live phone support? (sometimes email is just not good enough)
2. Do they offer fast support?
3. Do they have a culture of entrepreneurship?
4. Do they understand the pains (and joys) of being a small business owner? – this is only done if executes and staff (at least some throughout the company) have run or worked in a small business.
There are many companies selling to small businesses but VERY few meet all of these criteria. Intuit is one, Infusionsoft (my employer) is another and there are only a very few more.
Many companies are filled with geeks creating awesome products. We need these company’s products. Many companies offer “low hanging fruit” for “small businesses” but really want to sell to bigger businesses.
Know if your vendor REALLY loves your small business or is just tolerating you.
Clate Mask (see below or here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86s4KjHZe6k&feature=g-all-u
Kara Burney (see below or here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2do_CRDfhws&feature=g-all-u)
Cindy Eagar (see below or here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCZxdD7RLtg&feature=plcp)
Dave Sherman (see below or here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY2hRO2lzvw&feature=plcp)