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Do Software Vendors Want Your [Small] Business?

by Anthony J. Bradley  |  April 27, 2017  |  2 Comments

About a month ago I had an interesting conversation with a marketing leader from a software vendor. The company was unhappy with their product’s placement in a FrontRunners quadrant (FRQ). Ok, that part is not unusual. So here comes the interesting part. They were positioned very well in the FRQ. The positioning reflected that their product was well regarded by small business customers.

So what was the problem? They did not want to be on the quadrant at all. They did not want to be associated with the small business market. They don’t target that market… anymore. They have “outgrown” it.

Not all software vendors are interested in doing business with small businesses. As a small business leader, it is important to know if a software vendor really cares about getting and keeping your business. It will indicate their willingness to provide the services and functionality you need to advance your business. The challenge is that they are not going to come out and say, “We really aren’t interested in your small business.” I’ve heard vendors say, “We don’t cater to that market but we won’t refuse their money.”

Our New Research on the Software that Small Businesses are Adopting

We wanted to better understand, and help our readers better understand, what software products are being adopted by small businesses.  So we created some new research on the Human Resources and Accounting software markets including:

Most popular HR software: How location and business size affect app choices

User research trends: which accounting software for small business is most popular?

This research explores the software that small businesses gravitate towards based on business size and location. It unearths some very interesting findings such as:

  • Businesses with 1-50 employees favor newer, more agile HR apps, with lower price points
  • Companies with 51 employees and more look for more well-known HR names
  • Small businesses are still adopting point solutions for areas such as recruitment, rather than all-in-one HR apps
  • Adoption of learning management systems is much higher in companies with more than 500 employees
  • Outside of the U.S., companies favor local HR solutions.

It also examines the HR and accounting software buying habits of different sized small businesses including specific software products that are popular with those businesses. See the following graphic.

small biz adoption

This content can help small business leaders understand how similar sized businesses go about choosing software. And it can help vendors see the different buying habits between different small business sectors.

As always, your feedback is highly valued and we will produce more of this research if you find it useful.

Additional Resources

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Anthony J. Bradley
13 years at Gartner
30 years in IT

Anthony J. Bradley is a Group Vice President in Gartner Research. In this role he leads global teams of analysts who research the emerging technologies and trends that are changing today's world and shaping the future. Mr. Bradley's group strives to provide technology product and service leaders (Tech CEOs, General Managers, Chief Product Officers, Practice Leads, Product Managers and Product Marketers) with unique, high-value research and indispensable advice on leveraging emerging technologies and trends to create and deliver highly successful products and services. Information technology now impacts pretty much every business function in all companies, all industries, and all geographies. Technology providers are critical to the technology and business innovation that will define the world of tomorrow. Innovation depends on technology providers. By helping them, we help the world.

Thoughts on Do Software Vendors Want Your [Small] Business?

  1. Hi, we’re getting questions about what FRQ considers small business?
    Can you please provide a reference/link so we can put the quadrant in context for our Spanish customers, thanks!!

  2. Hana Leader says:

    When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new commentsare added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve 4emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove mefrom that service? Many thanks!

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