SME growth remains strong – so why are they still an under-developed market?
SMEs generate huge revenues and dominate the employment market. And yet, operators tend to overlook their needs, particularly in the segment which has the largest number of people, the sub-50 employee market. Isn’t it time this changed?
A quick glance at enterprise statistics reveals a wealth of information. Take the handy report the UK Government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills produces every other year or so. In it, readers can see the numbers of businesses of a certain size and their associated levels of turnover. As ever, the vast majority of businesses (99.3%) can be categorised as “small” – that is, with 50 or fewer employees. The distribution of such companies is also interesting, as 99% of all businesses in every main industrial sector are SMEs.
SMEs, then, are an essential element of the economy and yet it’s often thought that they don’t represent significant turnover. In fact, the contrary is true. In the UK, 47% of all private sector turnover is generated by SMEs, which represents £1.7 trillion. Indeed, 33% of overall turnover came from those companies with 50 or fewer employees. That’s a lot of money.
Many service providers consistently overlook the needs of small business users, believing that there is insufficient opportunity for growth. That’s patently not the case. So, why do they do it? Some have argued that the cost of doing business with smaller companies is too high while others have simply ignored them completely. This cannot continue. Small businesses need services just as much as do their larger peers. So, what should these services be?
As a recent editorial in UK channel publication Comms Business points out, 100% of businesses need voice – despite the the growth of email and messaging, people still want to talk to each other. At the same time, a mere 4% of businesses have adopted a cloud voice solution, which leaves a staggering 94% of the market without such capabilities. That’s an opportunity to offer cloud voice products, such as mobile UC to the smallest businesses that dominate the market.
The same situation is likely to be true in most other markets. SMEs generate revenue but providers don’t offer them the kinds of rich communications services that they do to larger organisations. Every provide likes to boast about how many listed companies use their services but such companies are a fraction of the market. Isn’t it time to take this seriously? Talk to Gintel and find out how.