Over the past decade, more and more major national and global firms have come to consider small businesses to be a key target market. Today, small business customers are seen as a good investment, with more profit potential than larger contracts may offer. Recently, Small Business Labs forecasted continued growth of the small business consumer market over the next 5 years. They offered four main reasons why more firms are focusing their efforts on marketing to small businesses.
Small Business More Profitable than Enterprise
First, Small Business Labs points to a growing perspective among leading corporations that the small business segment is more profitable than the enterprise segment (which is filled with corporations that have a habit of negotiating contracts to the point where profits are minimal).
Small Business is a Big Part of the Economy
Additionally, major firms across the country have finally begun to realize just how expansive the small business segment is, with a vast array of new business opportunities to pursue. Fueling this “realization” is all the current rhetoric over just how large of a chunk of both the global and U.S. economy small businesses compose. Also prominent in strategists’ minds are the recent successes of corporations (such as Google) who primarily serve the small business sector.
Small Business is Easier to Reach Out To
Thirdly, with the advent of Internet and related technologies, reaching and supporting small businesses has become infinitely easier. Many of the technologies and business models that have been recently constructed around small businesses have proven to be quite successful in the consumer Internet space, boosting corporate confidence in this arena.
Small Business is a Growing Market
And finally, with current growth so stagnant, corporations are desperate for new markets. So not surprisingly they are seeing small business consumers as a viable alternative, particularly in light of the other factors discussed above.
This increased corporate focus on the small business market was recently underscored in a letter sent to Office Depot’s executive management team from major stockholder/hedge fund Starboard. Essentially, a key part of their financial enhancement strategy centered around cultivating stronger relationships with North American small and medium sized business customers, which they have forecast to be more profitable in the future than larger accounts.
Cheng, Andria. “Office Depot Jumps as Investor Reports Stake.” Market Watch. The Wall Street Journal. 9/17/12. (9/21/12.)
King, Steve. “Why Everyone Wants Small Businesses as Customers.” Small Business Labs. 9/18/12. (9/21/12.)