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Software Providers Should Help Small Businesses – Not Limit Them
By: Stefan Topfer
In my daily encounters with small businesses I encounter business after business that is struggling with growth. Not only does the longed for growth of a small business lead to efficiency and time issues, but many find the software that is provided to them by software providers only limits their growth.
Many small business software providers price their products according to the number of financial transactions, users or invoices that can be sent any given month. For a small business starting out a plan that limits these transactions may not seem too bad. However, it is not long before a business has more customers, needs more functionality and the software price doubles.
This quickly leads to business owners being unsure of their cashflow situation on a month-by-month basis. Unless all of a small business’ customers are signed up to a yearly subscription (which in the case of most of my clients is not the norm) the amount of financial transactions or invoices a small business needs to send differs from month to month. Having small business software price plans based on these uncertain figures is not practical for the majority of small businesses.
In fact, I would maintain that these small business software plans inhibit the growth of many small businesses – leaving them unable to reliably forecast their cashflow or create a business plan. Small business software providers should encourage and promote the growth of their clients, rewarding loyalty and displaying a unified front in the face of the turbulent financial situation many SME/SMB’s currently find themselves in.
Small business success is not only beneficial to the small business owner, but also to the country and the worldwide economy. We should reward small businesses for helping the economy and encourage growth by doing all we can to allow them to prosper. Pricing strategies created in order to give financial support is just one way small business software providers can do this.
Disclosure: The author Stefan Töpfer is CEO of WinWeb.com - a leading small business infrastructure provider (small business software, e-Commerce solutions & business process outsourcing) - the views and opinions expressed are his and based on over three decades of personal experience as a serial entrepreneur, #1 small business blogger, mentor and angel investor in the SME/SMB sector.