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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
Hi all,I am the co-owner of a start-up developed to save SME’s time and money on their day to day transactions. Basically SME’s are able to aggregate and reverse auction their major day to day business purchases to other SME’s and corporates.We have bootstrapped development and beta tested below the radar in the Ag sector with good results.Our challenge now is getting out quickly to help as many SME’s as possible in a variety of industries however we now have to rethink our go to market strategy and probably need some help. Any suggestions would be good.  Colin  

Question submitted 06/05/20 @ 12:52pm
Industry: Start-ups
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  • Hi – advertising to SMEs is hard; there are a lot of them and many channels. I’d suggest linking in with industry and support groups for the SME sectors you want to serve – which may mean you need to narrow down to some subsectors. Eg partner up with the hospitality association or retailers association. Think about advertising in trade journals or online on sites they are likely to frequent. A mix of paid and editorial might get you there in some publications.
    The main advice is to be specific – you’re a start-up. You can’t sell to the 60,000+ businesses in NZ. Where will your offer have the most relevance? Which sectors have a defined grouping? Start there.

    The thought that came to my mind is why not build off your beta in ag to build a track record that you can then use to either advertise off of or figure out how to have current customers bring in future customers?

    There may be a way to have people who are pleased with your service and the pricing they got to become your de facto sales force to bring more people on to the platform.

    It would be interesting if your platform could tell people – if we could get y more orders on board we could save you x more dollars per unit and then made it super easy for them to send that to friends of theirs to join in. That may provide the incentive needed to get people to get others on to the site for you. Obviously there is probably some point of diminishing returns where people will not expend the effort but it could be a way to make your service viral.

    Thanks for your thoughts Guys
    We have tried dealing with associations however there are usually ‘tie ups’ such as sponsorship etc with the large industry suppliers, who see us as a threat to their margins if we get any oxygen.
    I agree with keeping it focused and using word of mouth and social media is probably the best solution, unfortunately that wont help as many SME’s as possible through this difficult time.

    Hi Spider, this is an awesome idea, haven’t had chance to look, is there anyone else doing this overseas?

    If you could build a beta platform that allows SME’s to post spare capacity, perhaps time-bound, around goods and services, which enables incentives like “buy now for 20% off” etc., then the first issue is an easy interface to allow them to upload.

    Then outreach, and this forum a good start as many SME’s here will partner in the beta, there’s no downside, esp. if bizz. model is you take small % of only completed transaction, with no fee to load (possibly consider subscription when has mass).

    Build a great UI where I can explore whats available.

    Hard part is getting to the audience who will consume those products/services. Social media plus here is likely good enough for beta, early growth numbers may attract funding.

    I think of it as a reverse Builderscrack, where I post a job needing done, and those that can do it, then apply.

    With your platform, I’d love to be able to browse available products/services in my own time, esp. as I may want a service too small for an SME to consider, but could fit into their existing schedules if I’m not in a hurry.

    Easy way for SME to sell and monetise spare capacity at very low risk/price, and very handy for “users”, and probably at a low start-up cost for you.

    You don’t even need an e-commerce platform, just bill SME’s their fee.

    BTW, Yello gagging for new ways to connect their only asset, SME’s across NZ, with new customers. They need the help, and may partner with you.

    Go for it!

    Happy to help further if I can
    Cheers Duncan

    Hi Duncan
    Thanks for the excellent feedback.
    We provide mainly demand driven service like Builders Crack but Suppliers can post limited Buy Now pricing which may help those SME’s wanting to move product.There is still the issue of the the customer base, mind you the smell of a good deal always helps bring them out of the wood work. You have given me some real food for thought.

    Hey,

    Love the bartering culture. I think quite a lot of SME’s do it naturally anyway and this could magnify a trend already out there.

    Have seen New Zealand Made Products page on FB> the https://www.facebook.com/groups/519618962054849

    365k followers!

    Not to say that FB is your solution but if you get the audience sharing and somehow leverage your platform.

    An idea at the least…

    Hi Bruce
    Thanks for that suggestion as local suppliers and NZ made are common requests for us so the the link is a good point.

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