Blog

New Podcast: “SMBs Get Lied to a Lot”

Gene Marks is a dynamo. Every morning he gets up at 5:00 to write on small businesses issues for Forbes, The Guardian, Inc., and other publications he contributes to regularly. Then he heads off to run The Marks Group, a CRM reseller and consulting firm that serves a...

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Tech Adoption Summit Session Recaps

On November 7, LSA hosted the second Tech Adoption Summit in San Francisco. It was an exclusive, c-level event focused on the future of SMB technology adoption and the implications for technology providers and sales channels. The following are summaries and links to...

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At #TAS: The SMB SaaS Playbook

In contrast to the morning sessions at this week's Tech Adoption Summit in San Francisco, the afternoon sessions had a more “playbook” tone to them. The afternoon was kicked off with Neal Polachek interviewing Trina Ward (of the eponymous consulting firm) in a session...

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Secrets to Selling the Full Stack

SaaS was on full display at two recent conferences that have their roots in the Yellow Pages industry, a clear indication of just how much change is occurring among companies that sell digital products and services to small businesses. First, at the SIINDA...

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Vendasta Goes Freemium to Expand Agency Pipeline

Last week Vendasta announced it was shifting to a "freemium" model targeted to small digital agencies. This release raised a couple of immediate questions. First, I wondered if this was a real shift in strategy or just a more public announcement of something that...

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Why SMBs Abandon DIY Software Mid-Purchase

According to a new survey conducted by LSA and Mono Solutions, more than half of SMBs have at some point abandoned an online software purchase in the middle of the process. And their reasons suggest that DIY software vendors overall haven't yet perfected the customer...

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Softbank, Hard Cash and Warm Hearts 

Looks like Goliath investor Softbank may place yet another huge bet on the WeWork. Softbank already put nearly $4.5B into the real estate play that has been rumored to be preparing for a public offering. According to filings, WeWork losses continue to mount as they...

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New Podcast: “SMBs Have No Time”

There are few people with a broader or deeper perspective on the small business SaaS world than Mark MacLeod, the latest guest on the "Above the Cloud" podcast series. Mark was the founder CFO at Shopify, which helped democratize e-commerce by enabling SMBs to become...

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Square’s Mobile Payroll App = More Disruption?

Yesterday I saw a bunch of news alerts, emails and tweets regarding Square's announcement extending its existing desktop small business payroll service to its mobile app. Reading through some of the news, Square's announcement moved its stock favorably and trimmed a...

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A Peek into the World of MSPs and IT Providers

I recently attended an event outside of Boston put on by the team at ChannelPro - ChannelPro SMB Forum. Like many trade shows or conferences, there were presentations and workshops and exhibits. Overall it was a super interesting mix of Managed Service Providers...

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Gusto on Scaling Customer Experience

The small business software space is crowded, which raises an interesting overall question about how to differentiate among products that are for the most part all pretty good. When we spoke with Ariel Diaz, CEO of Blissfully back in June, we explored the idea of...

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Guest Post: 5 Sales Arguments for SMB Websites

Websites are key to building a strong digital foundation for small businesses. Yet many still struggle to understand the value of an online presence. According to a recent study by Visa, more than 50% of SMBs still aren’t online, but with digital presence playing a...

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New Podcast: “Humans Aren’t Resources”

Gusto is one of the most celebrated business operating in the small business cloud software space, having raised more than $300 million to date and generating ample press for its approach to disrupting the payroll and HR space. Last week we visited Gusto's impressive...

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What is a Tech Agency Channel Partner?

When we talk to companies offering digital marketing solutions for small businesses, from full-stack solutions to focused offerings like SEO or websites, many express a common refrain. They want to explore new reseller channels. Most have worked with media partners...

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DexYP Results Show Why They Thryv

DexYP released its 2Q earnings yesterday and the results make it clear why the company is aggressively shifting its focus from selling business leads via printed directories and digital products like SEM and into a software as a service model via it's Thryv CRM...

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New Podcast: “Age is a Moving Target”

What happens when the 50-plus crowd leaves the corporate world and either starts or acquires small businesses? Will their adoption of could technology to run these businesses be more like older owners of existing small businesses, who tend to be reluctant to move...

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New Podcast: “Art of the Demo”

Josh Melick, co-founder and CEO of Broadly, has small business in his DNA, with parents who were small business owners and a resume filled with stops at leading SMB-focused companies. After stints at Ingenio, YP and DemandForce, Josh and fellow engineer Assaf Arkin...

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Guest Post: The Next Frontier of Business Websites

The business website has come a long way from its static origins. Even so, it continues to evolve and adapt to the unique needs of small businesses owners. We’re at an exciting point -- breaking away from the antiquated standard into something new, more impactful and...

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What Metrics Drive SMB SaaS Companies?

The Tech Adoption Index team is on a journey to deliver insights that matter to the community we are building in the small-business software world. One item on our checklist is an examination of key operational metrics in the SMB SaaS world. There are many good...

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Introducing Our New Podcast: Above the Cloud

The Tech Adoption Index rolled out its new podcast "Above the Cloud" this week, with the inaugural episode featuring an interview with Blissfully.com CEO Ariel Diaz. Blissfully recently released its "2018 SMB SaaS Trends Report" -- a comprehensive look at how small...

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The Growing Power of the Small Business OS

Advertising is a fickle beast. Small businesses will move quickly in and out of advertising products, churning out if value isn't perceived, or proven. Small businesses are less likely to switch providers for the tools they use to run their day to day business -- the...

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Coming Soon: “Above the Cloud” Podcast

For more than a year we’ve been developing the Tech Adoption Index -- a program that is all about the vast and critically important small business software world. Specifically we’ve been acquiring and sharing data-supported knowledge about how SMBs are using...

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Is the “Full Stack” a Churn Buster?

One of the primary rationales or selling the full SMB marketing and technology stack is that sellers who only go to market with a single product are vulnerable to churn. So for defensive reasons, it’s important to be in a position to be that single source provider to...

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PayPal’s Big POS Acquisition Targets Square

PayPal, having sat and watched the success of Square, pulled the trigger on a $2.2 billion acquisition yesterday aimed squarely at its payments and point of sale rival. PayPal acquired iZettle -- a Swedish SMB/SME payment platform -- with the aim of keeping pace with...

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Square Joins the Food Fight

There's a powerful new entrant into the crowded restaurant technology field. Today, Square announced it will offer an entire restaurant management system called Square for Restaurants. Square is entering a hotly contested market with legacy players like OpenTable --...

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Amazon Using Discounts to Drive Pay Adoption

"Your margin is my opportunity" is one of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's most famous quotes. The retail payments sector is feeling the sting of this classic Amazon disruption strategy -- offering the same service at a lower price to drive market share. Sacrificing margin...

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At SaaSConnect: SaaS Growth Trends for 2018

The world of cloud based apps for small and medium size businesses is all about good news and bad news for those in the business SaaS market. This according to a presentation this morning here at SaaS Connect in San Francisco by Blissfully Founder and CEO Ariel Diaz...

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#LSA18: The New Market for SMB Services

The New Market for SMB Services panel featured a great mix of perspectives from leaders in the solution market with a cohesive message. Consumers are driving the change and demanding personalization. SMBs need to navigate and offer the same level of engagement with...

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Henry Schein: First Dental, Now Dogs & Cats

Distribution companies are facing an existential crisis in the face of price and convenience driven competition from online competitors, notable Amazon. In order to have a chance at long-term survival, distributors are expanding their service offerings to diversity...

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Channels Channels Channels

I took the opportunity to attend the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas this week. Why, you might ask? Fair question. On a hunch I decided to attend what is billed as a gathering of 6,000 channel partners with the likes of AT&T, Vonage, Comcast 4...

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Six Principles Driving the Tech Adoption Index

About a year and a half ago we developed a set of six principles that served as the foundation for what would become the Tech Adoption Index. These principles were the reasons we believed the small business shift to the cloud would become the biggest game changer...

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Our Take on DocuSign’s IPO Filing

E-signature giant DocuSign filed for an IPO this week, hoping to raise an unspecified amount in an IPO expected to happen sometime in April, according to a report in TechCrunch. The company's S-1 offers a first ever look at the company's financials. DocuSign generated...

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Square Appointments Free for Small Merchants

Point of sale player Square made its bones enabling micro-businesses selling short ribs out of food trucks or honey at farmers markers to accept credit card payments. Since then they've layered on services to offer a more complete solution to small businesses, and to...

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Gusto Tops 60K Customers, Adds Free Product

Gusto the SaaS company offering payroll processing and HR services for small businesses, revealed that it crossed the 60,000 customer threshold in January. It has also launched a new product called HR Basics that helps SMBs handle routine HR tasks like managing...

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MYOB Steps Up Battle with Rival Xero

Down in Australia there's an aggressive battle between two cloud-based SMB accounting software providers -- MYOB and Xero. MYOB recently announced new AI features that they believe will enable bookkeepers and accountants to spend more time offering clients advisory...

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Nordy Ups the Ante

In another signal that the role of customer experience continues to gain importance, Nordstrom has bought two technology companies to help further its CX success. Few brands are more closely associated with quality customer experience than Nordstrom. Nordstrom...

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SurePath Report Details Active SMB SaaS Market

Every year our friends at SurePath Capital Partners produce a much-anticipated "State of SMB Software" report that measures the level of interest VCs and private equity investors have in the market for SaaS products designed for small and medium size businesses. Last...

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Booming Square Sees Multi-Channel Growth

Fintech powerhouse Square rolled out a strong Q4 and FY 2017 earnings report yesterday, showing a strong move upmarket to serving larger retailers ($500K+), and greater traction among consumers with Cash App and Square Card, as well as an expanding product ecosystem...

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Dropbox Looks to Raise $500M in IPO

Last week Dropbox announced plans to go public with the goal of raising $500 million at an estimated $10 billion market valuation.  Dropbox launched 11 years ago and has since grown to more than $1.1 billion in annual revenues. Revenues have grown 39% and 31% over the...

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Mobile App Usage is Driving the SMB Cloud Shift

An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer in some ways states the obvious when its says that Millennials and teens are rapidly moving away from cash and in the direction of payment apps like Venmo and CashApp. The article underscores a few key principals driving the...

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SMB Market Defined by Galaxies, not Ecosystems

The collection of companies offering digital tools to small businesses either directly or via resellers is better described as a collection of galaxies than as an interconnected ecosystem. Such is the conclusion of Lorren Elkins, an executive with the software company...

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Do SMBs Want All-in-One Cloud Solutions?

Companies selling digital solutions to small-businesses have long chased the notion that SMBs want sellers to “make it easy for them” and wrap up the media products they need into one turnkey solution. One payment and one dashboard where they can see how it’s all...

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Is CRM the Heart of the New SMB Cloud-Tech Stack?

Yesterday Charles Laughlin, Neal Polachek and I presented a webinar about the evolution of the SMB market and cloud services. Check it out here. LSA has also created a dedicated program (Tech Adoption Index) examining changes in the SMB market and the expanding scope...

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A New Era: SMBs and the Cloud_Shift

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools are transforming how small businesses manage HR, payroll, marketing, finances, supply chain, customer engagement and more. New LSA data shows that this shift to “the cloud” is gaining momentum and all SMB marketing services providers...

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Google Pushes into HR Software Market with Hire

Google has pushed its way into the HR software space with Google Hire, a tool that helps SMBs recruit talent. The idea behind Hire is to give companies a platform for tracking progress in hiring a candidate — including email communications, interview notes, etc. With...

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Powered by the Local Search Association, The Tech Adoption Index (TAI) is designed to measure the SMB market’s shift to cloud-based services through a quantitative tracking study. The study is a bi-annual survey with a sample of 1,000 SMBs in each wave.

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