Are SMEs worth it?

I’ve been involved in a lot of conversations over the last couple of years about selling to SMEs in the UK. For many companies this looks like it should be a rich stream of business if only it was accessible. Just the number of SMEs make this an area worthy of consideration; there are well over 3 million by most calculations (paper from ACCA Global) and my working number is 4.5 million.

Specifically in the area of marketing services it would seem that most SMEs are not such hot prospects. The following data is from a white paper titled Advertising Among SMEs by Paul Hague and Matthew Powell.

Advertising spend of SMEs

Size of SME Average Promotional Budget
1 to 10 employees = £2,000
11 to 50 employees = £52,400
51 to 250 employees = £87,200
Overall average = £63,000

With such small budgets, it is hardly surprising that many SMEs can’t afford to engage the help of advertising agencies. It is also evident that a quick filter of prospects by employee count could well be valuable for vendors.

Perhaps the solution is to look towards ways of servicing SMEs online and with SaaS/cloud services? Aggregation and delivery via these methods could unlock better services and cost effective methods.

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