Friday, January 24, 2014

Notes From the Road -- What We Learned at the Miami Small Business Expo

What a great week at Bimotics! The entire team got to update their pitching skills, but more importantly put faces and names to the businesses we work to serve each day. We spent two days traveling to small business exhibitions, talking to dozens of local and regional potential customers and fine-tuning our sense of what small businesses need.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • People who understand the benefits of business metrics and analysis but “are not there yet” are great for validating our explanation of the value Bimotics brings, but most likely will not fit into the sales cycle we are targeting because it takes a while to set up and use standard business practices.
  • Technology providers that cater to small business are asked quite often where to get analytics and business intelligence systems that fit a tight budget. Possible partnerships and cohort awareness will definitely help us generate leads and grow our business.
  • Demand for business intelligence solutions significantly drops off when solutions reach the $10,000 price point.  Those with higher price tolerance tend to be service-type companies who use analysis as part of their main offering. Bimotics is pricing our service in line with other small business applications.  We also know that we can tap greater demand at a much lower price point.
  • Although technical startups are interested in our analytical software, they tend to fall into the “innovator” rather than the “early adopter” bucket.  What this means is that if we focus on selling just to technical startups, we may not be able to get the critical mass of small businesses we need.  Our goal is to serve all businesses but word of mouth and trust will come easier from non-technical startups, or businesses that are slightly farther along in their development.

Ultimately we left the events with even greater focus on what we need to do to cater to different customer bases and understand how their needs differ.  Our first and immediate post-conventions actions are to schedule product demos with the businesses that expressed interest and continue building local relationships.

Of the dozens of people that we spoke with, all were inspiring.  They were happy to share their stories of success in surmounting challenges in their businesses. They did not complain about budget or about having assembled the perfect team before they figured out a solution.  We were left with a renewed sense of persistence and optimism towards entrepreneurship and providing analytics services that businesses will find invaluable.

No comments:

Post a Comment