SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Did You Know: National Small Business Week

Did You Know: National Small Business Week

This past week was a nationwide celebration called Cinco de Mayo. It was also National Small Business Week supported by the Small Business Administration (SBA). It’s an annual opportunity to reflect back on our roots as small business owners ourselves. And we’re serving small businesses as MSPs. I liken it to maturity matching in finance. Small businesses serving small businesses. That math works for a few reasons that I want to share with you as part of my reflections on National Small Business Week.

When I see enterprises salivate at the small business opportunity, I often see these enterprises misfire when executing on sales and services. Why? Because enterprises don’t speak the language of small business. They don’t “get it” from a cultural perspective. Two simple examples make my point. First, there is the tendency for enterprise folks to engage in display fighting where they have to be the smartest person in the room during a meeting. That tends to lead to this. The small business customer asks what time it is. The enterprise salesperson overwhelms them with a lecture on how to build a watch. Another example concerns overreaching. Enterprises inherently engage in a strategy of incrementalism. If you can sell your widget for $1.05, try to stick it to them (the customer) and get $1.06 LOL. What I’ve seen with the small business culture is a sense of Kankei no baransu. It means to keep your relationships in balance. The idea is that we’re all in the together, live in the same community and understand these are long-term relationships. Enterprises can take there NSA mentality back to the big leagues where it belongs.

Back to National Small Business Week. Microsoft itself was a “sponsor” of several outreach touches including a small business contest, a gaggle of Washington DC events and Melanie Gass was in the thick of it all. Readers will recall Melanie was one of our speakers on the Office 365 roadshow in 2015.

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GoDaddy expands SMB services footprint with Dwolla alliance

GDLogo-1BGoDaddy is continuing to expand its service footprint for SMBs. Over the past several months the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company has been rebranding itself and aggressively branching out from its foundation in domains and online presence to add more and more services for SMBs. Today the company unveiled a partnership with Dwolla – a low-cost online payments network – that will help SMBs simplify the invoicing process, replacing the entire invoice/cheque/deposit process with an electronic transaction.

The new service, which is available today, offers GoDaddy’s 12 million small business customers an alternative to paper checks or more costly options like PayPal, says Steven Aldrich, GoDaddy Senior VP of Applications.

Paper cheques are still the most prevalent form of payment for SMBs, says Aldrich, adding that cheques introduce a variety of inefficiencies and issues to the process of getting paid that are “less than ideal.” To start with they take time, introducing long cash flow lags. Then they cost money in a number of ways – from the cost of the cheques themselves to processing fees that can run to more than $7.00 per transaction to the money you have to pay your accountant/billing department to manually deal with each transaction.

aldrichsteven-304Credit cards or alternative online options like PayPal aren’t much better. Credit companies usually take a three percent cut of the invoice, which will be about $33 on the average invoice of $1100. By Comparison, Dwolla charges a flat 25 cents on all transactions over $10.

In the past SMBs could use Dwolla, but it was often necessary for the payee to register for a Dwolla account, making the service cumbersome for thousands of small services businesses like plumbers and IT consultants. Dwolla overcame this last year with e-cheque technology that enabled guests to make one-time or multiple payments to Dwolla users from an existing bank account – the technology underlying the GoDaddy offering. The problem was that the Dwolla user needed to do some coding up front to make it work. GoDaddy has simplified the process and done that coding for them.

“This is not just about traditional ecommerce providers,” said Aldrich. “It’s about anyone that gets paid by check today. We’ve found that SMB owners are doing more with the Web and more with their phones. It’s all types of transactions, whether it’s over the web, or I came to your house to fix your roof. Now all you need is an email address and you can send them your invoice.

“With the Dwolla option, you save the SMB hundreds of dollars. It’s also easy, fast and safer for people to move to electronic invoicing and electronic payments.”

This is part of a massive strategic evolution for GoDaddy. In January the company unveiled a new brand identity with a new Super Bowl ad featuring Danica Patrick focussed more on customer identity than titillation and announced a relationship with Microsoft to make Office 365 available to its SMB customers. The company is also moving beyond its traditional strength in the digital business world.

Out of an estimated 28 million SMBs in the US, 23 million of them have five or fewer employees. “That is the customer we are targeting,” says Aldrich. “Those types of firms want that very easy to use service. They are not accountants or web developers so they need an affordable service and they want it to just work.”

To this end GoDaddy no offers a suite of services that deliver four key areas. In addition to its traditional strength in domains and online presence services, the company has been building out its marketing services and business support offerings – including the Dwolla e-cheque services, Office 365 and online bookkeeping.

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National Small Business Week to Focus on the Benefits of Technology, Entrepreneurship

This coming Monday kicks off the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) annual National Small Business Week, which will include meetings and celebrations throughout the country.  In conjunction with the SBA, Microsoft is hosting its Small Business Week activities on June 17 at its Redmond Campus.

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