Specific Small Business Niches
SBS not only meets the general needs of small business, it can also meet the unique needs of a specific industry niche within the world of small to medium-sized businesses (SMB). As an outside observer of numerous businesses, you have the unique ability to find these specific industry niche needs that SBS meets and then to leverage these needs to successfully close the sale. It is always beneficial to point these out and how they are met by the product.
Critical items to medical offices include scheduling, patient record retention, record retrieval, security, and insurance billing. A medical office needs a secure stable platform that can run industry-specific software and support the small office staff. Secure remote access to records is also convenient to the doctors on call during off hours. The office staff needs to share printers, copiers, and fax services. Use SBS to configure a digital process for sharing and utilizing the hardware in a small office efficiently. Offer the doctors remote access when on call to do their job more efficiently and the nurses and office staff easy access to the Internet for research.
Professional service firms are focused on efficiency and billable time. Their biggest pain point is mobility, because they need to capture billable time on the road, in the office, or at home. Work with the professional service firm on the mobility features and the remote access features of SBS. The professional service firm also uses standard forms and templates for services. The SharePoint intranet offers the central repository and library for critical documents for the professional services firm.
A law firm needs to keep careful records, has a huge number of documents, and is sensitive to security. Emphasizing the core security strength built into SBS can be a good angle for discussion. You can talk generically, but it might be even more impressive to the lawyer to explain exactly how the security tunnels of OWA work. You might also want to discuss ISA 2004, which can completely eliminate the need for a hardware firewall solution. There are significant differences between offering ISA 2000 with SBS 2003 and ISA 2004 with SBS 2003.
A CPA firm's priority, after agreement is met that a product meets the need, is cost. A carefully designed Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the best tools that you can use when selling SBS to a CPA firm. The bundle of software within SBS and the price model far exceed collecting and installing each of the software packages separately and makes for a good selling point.
Consulting firms are also concerned with cost, but they have numerous best practice templates and documents that need to be shared among the members of the team. These documents can easily be housed and kept current in a central repository using SharePoint on SBS. The consultant also needs remote access to email and files for she is often at client sites where access to information is critical to the success and acceptance of the consultant's recommendations.
The business of valuation requires numerous documents reviewed by the customer, accountant, lawyers, and any number of partners if merger and acquisition are on the table. SBS can be used to significantly reduce the number of documents being emailed and the loss of version control that happens so easily when dealing with this business need.
The retail world centers on the doors opening in the morning and closing at night. A busy retail owner must often do paperwork late into the evening, because customers' demands during the day mean no time for doing the books. Remote access to the office is a key selling feature to the CEO of a retail business. Additionally, retail requires a yearly physical inventory and in today's world the mobility tools for inventory can easily be linked to the SBS framework. SBS mobility features can be a selling point for some pieces of the retail business.
Specific Small Business Niches